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Roberts Case Denied By Judge

By Hempology | June 19, 2006

Local Paddy Roberts Will Appeal B.C. Supreme Court Judge’s Decision To Allow Feds To Intervene In Emery Charges

Slocan Valley’s Patrick Roberts may have lost the fight to prevent Ottawa’s involvement in his charges against B.C.’s Pot King Marc Emery, but he is willing to take his battle to the bitter end, even if it means the Supreme Court of Canada. By charging Emery and two accomplices, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Williams, with conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, Roberts could have prevented American drug-enforcement officials from charging the trio with the same crimes, thus preventing their extradition to the U.S. to stand trial. The Emery plot thickened when Canada’s Federal Attorney General tried to stay Roberts’ charges, which would clear the way for extradition. Roberts argued the federal government had no place in the legal battle, as the charges were conspiracy related, not direct drug charges, which would allow for federal intervention.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Robert Crawford recently dismissed Roberts’ motion to prevent the fed’s involvement. Roberts and his legal council, Nelson lawyer Don Skogstad, feel Crawford didn’t give their argument much consideration.

“There could have been a complete analysis of constitutional law, but in fact there is just not that much of an analysis in it at all. We are unconvinced by what we’ve read in the reasons that our position is wrong, with all respect to the judge,” said Skogstad. “I think he thought we might see a more rigorous dealing with our argument explaining perhaps why we were wrong, but you don’t see that anywhere in the judgment.”

Roberts thinks Crawford’s decision showed a decisive pandering to the federal government.

“The law does not provide the Attorney General of Canada any jurisdiction to interfere with this matter,” he said, adding he was not surprised by what he saw as prejudice tainting the case. “It’s not an old concept, this idea of the feds prosecuting. In most of the history of this country it was the provinces that have constitutionally held the exclusive right to prosecute criminal law.”

Roberts criticized Canada’s legal system for not having any avenue through which to challenge or understand how judges make decisions.

“It’s very difficult to sit the guy down and shine a spotlight on him and say, “what the hell are you thinking about?” he said. “I’ve always been a great supporter of the legal system, but in the last years I have seen it really go into the toilet.”

Roberts and Skogstad are pushing to have their appeal tried in the B.C. Court of Appeals by October.

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