|Media photo -- Ottawa Citizen|
On May 16, 2014, at 10:00 AM, in courtroom #36 of the Ottawa Courthouse of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice I walked out from the trial in which I am being sued, and in which I was representing myself without a lawyer. The trial is continuing in my absence, before a Jury of my peers.
This is my translation from the French of what I said to the Court, to Justice Michel Z. Charbonneau, to explain my reasons for leaving the trial process:
Your Honour, the law foresees that I must be free to advance the very serious charge of “reasonable apprehension of bias”.
It is very difficult for me to make this intervention. Give me five minutes because I must present the new evidence.
During my motion of May 7, 2014, asking that Your Honour recuse himself, Your Honour’s decision was silent on the central point that I had made that Your Honour’s decisions in this action could affect the reputation of the University of Ottawa and affect the monetary value of its scholarships, to which Your Honour donates money regularly and annually.
Then, on the first day of trial, Monday May 12 of this week, we did a motion in the afternoon, a so-called “Voir Dire”, with detailed facta [see all court-filed documents for this motion HERE]. Mr. Dearden [plaintiff's lawyer] brought the motion with a factum of 32 pages served on May 9 and accompanied by a book of authorities of 347 pages. His motion was to eliminate my defence called “Litigation by proxy contrary to the Charter”.
I answered with a factum of May 9 containing 14 pages and accompanied by a book of authorities of 342 pages. I argued in detail that, in fact, my defense was a defence of abuse of process having three branches, with one branch being the “Jameel” defence based on a 2005 decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal: Dow Jones Inc. v. Jameel, and I pointed to paragraphs 68 to 71 of my “Statement of Defence” as pleading this Jameel defence.
The decision of this Court [of Your Honour] was pronounced on May 14 regarding the said motion or Voir Dire: The paragraphs 61 to 67 of the Statement of Defence were struck. Paragraphs 68 to 71 remained intact, as did my Jameel defence.
Then, on May 15, yesterday, during my Opening Statement, the Court allowed Mr. Dearden to interrupt me when I was explaining my Jameel defence to the Jury. And Your Honour, off the cuff, struck and forbade my Jameel defence despite my protest, and despite the fact of not having done so when Your Honour should have done so if you had had that intension.
It has been more than three years that I have been fighting for procedural justice in this action — and my “Statement of Claim” is struck, cut into pieces, before my eyes during my Opening Statement, in contradiction with the considered decision of May 14 of Your Honour.
This would give nightmares to Kafka himself.
To my eyes, we are no longer in Canada — and we can no longer claim to have a system of justice in this action before you Your Honour.
I am outraged by this gag order imposed in a manner that is apparently arbitrary, which does not allow me to be heard and to “have my day in court”.
I have pleaded “abuse of process” at every step and now, at trial itself, I don’t even have the right to say that the University of Ottawa is entirely financing the plaintiff or the right to use the Jameel defense that applies to situations where the defendant advances a lack of actual damage to reputation, that’s “actual” damage, and to “reputation”, not some other kind of damage.
I was very disturbed by these incomprehensible events, and I have been deeply perturbed all day yesterday; confused also, as a self-represented litigant. This morning I inform the Court that I can no longer participate in such a process.
Therefore, I’m leaving this unjust process. You will take the decisions in my absence. It’s over for me: I’m leaving.
[Followed by an intervention by Mr. Richard Dearden (plaintiff's lawyer) addressed directly to me, my statement to the Court about appropriateness of the said intervention, and my departure from the courtroom.]
Ontario Civil Liberties Association public campaign page
All (many) court documents in the case
On May 21, 2014, Cynthia McKinney launched a petition asking for a new trial with a judge that has no ties with the University of Ottawa: SEE PETITION AND NEWS HERE.