No Father Joe LeClair in courtroom # 5 this morning (21 Nov. 2012). As those who have been following other court-cases now know, this, alas, is not at all unusual.
There will be a judicial pre-trial hearing at the Ottawa courthouse at 2:20 pm on December 11, 2012. This is NOT open to the public.
There will be a court-date 09 January 2013: 08:30 am, courtroom #5. This WILL be open to the public.
We learned this morning that between the last court-date and today (21 Nov.) Father LeClair’s lawyer and the Crown had a pre-trial – just the two without a judge.
The upcoming judicial pre-trial will be the Crown, Father LeClair’s lawyer and a judge. Father LeClair may or may not be present – probably not. It is during these pre-trials that deals are sometimes hammered out between the Crown and defence (with consent of a judge), sometimes some charges are withdrawn, and sometimes there are battles/discussions regarding such things as what evidence can or can not be used at trial, and what witnesses will be called. Sometimes too there are ongoing battles over disclosure of documents/evidence with one or both sides perhaps claiming privilege and refusing to disclose material which they feel they are not obliged to disclose – such issues might be brought before the judge during a judicial pre-trial for a ruling.
Sometimes a pre-trial is followed up with a guilty plea, and sometimes not. We will just have to wait and see what happens on 09 January 🙂 The 9th will be to set a another date – but we may get a feel then for whether this is going to continue winding its way on toward trial. The only for sure is that as long the court dates continue we know there is no guilty plea and things are moving to trial. That, however, can change at anytime.
So, there it is: our “public” legal system. For some time now it has bothered me that so much of our public system seems to be getting taken of behind closed doors and out of the public eye. I try to talk myself out of my concern, but today found myself thinking that yet again so much decision-making seems to be going on behind closed doors and away from public scrutiny. Is it right? I personally don’t think it is. What’s the point of a public system if the public is routinely excluded from the bartering process?
By the way, I had a very pleasant chat this morning with Conrad :).
I will check tomorrow to see if I can find out what’s happening with the Father Piotr Sanczenko charges
Enough for now,