*** Elite police tactical units are on their way over by helicopter gunships to take the SCC into custody. Reports of taser use has not yet been verified but eyewitness accounts state the at least two Supreme Court justices were brandishing staplers and paper clips. The mayor of Ottawa is thinking of calling in the Army to assist, while lawyers nearby staged a street protest in the downtown core, demanding the resignation of anyone who wears a white wig and sits on wooden chairs. :S MS ***
Even the Supreme Court of Canada can run afoul of the law sometimes.
The country's top court appears to have inadvertently violated a publication ban imposed by the Ontario Superior Court judge presiding over the trial of members of the so-called Toronto 18.
The sweeping publication ban bars the media from identifying four remaining members of the group who have yet to go to trial. It also bars the media from naming the judge who will preside over the trial, at least until the jury is selected. Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 22.
However, in a Brampton, Ont., courtroom Friday, the chief prosecutor in the Toronto 18 case, Croft Michaelson, told the judge that earlier this month the Supreme Court of Canada posted a document on its website that contained information covered by his ban.
The document in question was prepared by Ontario crown prosecutors in advance of a constitutional challenge arising out of the Toronto 18 case. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case before the Toronto 18 case begins.
The document has been removed from the top court's website, but is believed to have named all the remaining defendants.
Michaelson also told the judge that Quebec Superior Court appears to have violated the ban as well.
On Wednesday, Judge Claude LeBlond sentenced Morrocan-born Said Namouh to life in prison on terrorism charges. Namouh was a member of an al-Qaeda-connected media group called the Global Islamic Media Front.
In his judgment, LeBlond instructed the media not to report on paragraphs 47 through 60 of his judgment because the information was covered by the Toronto 18 ban.
According to Michaelson, other parts of the same judgment also violated the Toronto 18 publication ban. The judgment was later posted on the Quebec Superior Court website, but the offending paragraphs have since been removed.