On the radio yesterday (CKNW) Wally Opal (BC Attorney General) told all and sundry that anybody facing jail could get a jury trial. When I called in and asked Wally why no jury for me (I am currently in trial beginning Jan. 29 charged with criminal contempt of court) he said because I was arrested under a civil contempt charge which doesn’t warrant a jury trial.
Not isn’t that cute. Of course. They always arrest me (for environmental activism) under a civil contempt charge but the civil charge doesn’t stay civil long. It seems to automatically turn into a criminal charge. Then the entire trial becomes a farce as they use civil rules to convict me of criminal contempt of court. And then I am hauled off to prison (two and a half years and counting). And all without benefit of a jury trial.
Wally Opal knows this process isn’t fair, and that he is lying when he says my charges are civil. I am charged with criminal contempt, on trial in the criminal court. I asked for a jury trial. The judge refused. So I am being charged as a criminal once again, but with no jury. Wally Opal doesn’t care that he lies. He knows, the Crown knows, Gordon Campbell knows, and the court knows, that if I had a jury I would probably be acquitted. This is why they won’t allow me a jury trial even as I face criminal charges and imprisonment. Betty Krawczyk