Environmental protesters' lawyer fears "political interference"

In CBC News, 6 October 2009

A prominent Edmonton lawyer raised concerns Tuesday that Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is using his position to exert political influence over the judicial system and how it deals with Greenpeace activists. After a Greenpeace occupation of Shell's upgrader site in Fort Saskatchewan over the weekend, [Alberta Premier] Stelmach told reporters the protesters would be punished to the full extent of the law. (…) Beresh said Stelmach's comments hint at criminalizing peaceful environmentalism and raise issues about constitutional rights, political interference, free speech and the ability of activists to get fair trials in Alberta. (…) He said it's even more troubling that Solicitor General Fred Lindsay (…) "suggested that he would look at whether or not the terrorism legislation would apply" (…) Read more.

In Sun Media, 6 October 2009

(…) Beresh said his office is seeking hard evidence — including asking for the Premier's private communications with officials — before taking further action. "In our defence of the Greenpeace activists, our office will not rest until I'm assured that there is no political interference in the prosecution" he said. (…) Read more.

On YouTube, 6 October 2009

"(…) I think the public has to be involved in the debate about the independence of justice. This doesn't just involve the Courts, I will argue this before the Courts, but I want the public to be thinking about this and about what their elected politicians are doing. And I'm particularly concerned about the fear-mongering of the use of terrorism legislation (…) " [7:32 - 7:51] Watch the video.

The links to original sources can be found below.

Photo: David Bloom/Sun Media