Friday, June 22, 2007

REFUSED : Application for Release Pending Appeal

Betty Krawczyk's application for release pending appeal was refused, following Justice Finch's decision. The decision was not surprising as no one was there to represent Mrs. Krawczyk for the application. Strangely, in the citation included below, it lists that the judgment was made "Before : The Honourable Chief Justice Finch (In Chambers), with B. Krawcyzk on her own behalf, and M.J. Brundrett, Counsel for the Respondent (Crown)." However, Betty was not present to "represent herself on her own behalf," nor was anyone else.

As this case continues, our judicial system is becoming an increasing embarrassment to British Columbia and Canada. Our citizens are stripped of their democratic rights when the come up against the interests of corporations and of a self-interested government, one claiming to be "Green", hosting a "Green Olympics", welcoming Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger and his advisors.

The full text of the judgement is below. Please write to the following politicians to state your opinion on the handling of justice in our province.

Gordon Campbell
Premier of BC
3615 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6R 1P2
Phone: 604-660-3202
Fax: 604-660-5488

Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-941-6900

Honourable Wally Oppal
Attorney General of BC
Room 234 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V1X4
Tel: (250) 387-1866 Fax: (250) 387-6411

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8

To contact Betty Krawczyk, write to:
Betty Krawczyk
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women
P.O. Box 1000
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3K4

For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
cel: 778.865.0664


R. v. Krawczyk,

2007 BCCA 327
Date: 20070612

Docket: CA034884





Betty Krawczyk


The Honourable Chief Justice Finch
(In Chambers)

B. Krawczyk
On her own behalf
M. J. Brundrett
Counsel for the Respondent (Crown)
Written Submissions Received:

20 and 27 April and 6 June 2007

Place and Date of Judgment:
Vancouver, British Columbia
12 June 2007

Reasons for Judgment of the Honourable Chief Justice Finch:

[1] Mrs. Krawczyk applies in writing for release from custody pending her appeal against conviction on 8 February 2007 for criminal contempt of court, and against the sentence imposed on 5 March 2007 of ten months in custody. Her appeals are as of right under s. 10 of the Criminal Code.

[2] The Crown opposes the applicant's release. With respect to both the conviction and sentence appeals, the Crown concedes that Mrs. Krawczyk has established that she will surrender herself into custody if released. However, the Crown contends that she has failed to establish on a balance of probabilities that her appeal against conviction is not frivolous, her appeal against sentence has sufficient merit, and that her detention is not necessary in the public interest (see s. 679 (3) and (4)).

[3] In the affidavit Mrs. Krawczyk has filed in support of her application, she says she is not a security risk, will not repeat her contemptuous conduct and, as a self-represented litigant, would be better able to prepare her appeals if she were not in custody.

[4] The applicant's grounds of appeal against conviction are that she was denied the right of trial by jury, various of her Charter rights were infringed, and the judge hearing the contempt proceedings refused to recuse herself. I can see no merit in any of these grounds. This Court has previously held there is no right to a jury trial in contempt proceedings such as these. There is no constitutionally protected right to breach a court order. I see no substance in the allegation that there was an appearance of judicial bias in the judge who heard the contempt proceedings.

[5] As to the sentence appeal, Mrs. Krawczyk has previously been convicted of criminal contempt of court on four occasions. The longest sentence imposed was six months. There is little prospect that a division of this Court would interfere with the sentence imposed.

[6] The appellant has not shown that her continued detention is not necessary in the public interest. Her contempt for the court's order was deliberate. She repeated her open defiance of the order, well aware of the effect of her conduct, for the purpose of attracting media attention. The probable discharge date from her sentence is 25 September 2007. It is likely her sentence will be completed before this appeal could be heard.

[7] Release pending appeal would effectively provide the relief Mrs. Krawczyk seeks on appeal, without a proper consideration by a panel of this Court of the merits of either the conviction or sentence appeals. The Court's processes should not be short-circuited in this way.

[8] The application for release pending appeal is refused.

“The Honourable Chief Justice Finch”

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