Mon, September 13, 2004
A SUPERIOR Court judge is expected to give her decision today on whether Attorney General Michael Bryant will have to testify in a high-profile Hells Angels trial in Barrie. Bryant was subpoenaed by the defence lawyers for two Hells Angels members who claim he destroyed any chance of a fair trial after he made negative comments about the motorcycle club in a Toronto newspaper.
Hells Angels members Steven (Tiger) Lindsay, 40, of Toronto, and Raymond Bonner, 35, of Brampton, are on trial for extortion in connection with a Barrie businessman.
FIRST ANTI-GANG TRIAL
They are also charged with committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal organization -- the first accused in Canada to go to trial under Canada's new anti-gang law.
In a recent Globe and Mail article, the attorney general was quoted as saying the Hells Angels and other biker gangs are a "wicked" form of organized crime.
Defence lawyer Steven Skurka argued Bryant had no right to make the comment before it was proven in a court of law. He said the attorney general must take the stand.
If Justice Michelle Fuerst decides he must testify, Bryant will take the stand this morning. If not, Skurka will continue legal arguments that the charges should be stayed and the case tossed out of court based on the negative press comments.
The case itself is seen as a landmark that could affect the entire Hells Angels club.