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Court Date Readjourned to February Date

January 20, 2010 Dunnville Chronicle

Activist Gary McHale, the private citizen who initiated a criminal charge against Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino, has until Jan. 20 to produce further evidence to back up his claim Fantino tried to intimidate municipal officials in Caledonia.

On Friday, January 15, at Cayuga Courthouse, the case, which had been unexpectedly moved forward from its originally scheduled first appearance date of Feb. 3, was ordered adjourned until that same date. Crown Prosecutor Milan Rupic asked the court to delay the case to give McHale the opportunity to produce his evidence.

Fantino is charged with influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials in Caledonia.

The charge stems from an April 7, 2007 email Fantino sent to Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer and some councillors in regard to the ongoing native land dispute in Caledonia. The email warned them not to support anti-occupation protests.

Fantino also wrote he would advise the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services not to renew its policing contract with Haldimand County once it expired, if the politicians supported the protesters.

Outside the courthouse after the proceedings, McHale said he believed the Crown's intention in moving the trial forward was to stay the charge against Fantino.

"It was clear the Crown was going to stay the charge today. There's no other reason to bring it forward.

You don't bring it forward just to adjourn it back to the date the court had ordered. What the Justice of the Peace ruled today, is because he doesn't have the authority to change the summons date."

Fantino did not appear in court on Friday, and at that time, had not yet been served with a summons to appear in court for the February 3 hearing.