Calgary man faces rare libel charges for
criticizing police online
By Stephane Massinon, Calgary HeraldSeptember 17, 2010
Supt. Randy McGinnis said the charges against John Kelly are
very rare. "In my 29 years, I've never heard of an
individual being charged under the criminal code for libel
charges, defamation of character," McGinnis said during the
news conference on Sept. 17, 2010.
Archive, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — RCMP have laid five charges against a Calgary man related to
the operation of a website highly critical of Calgary police officers.
In a news conference Friday morning, RCMP announced the charges —
which include libel — against John Kelly, 53, of Calgary.
Kelly's website accused officers of perjury, corruption and
destroying evidence, RCMP said. Police deny the charges, saying they
injure the reputation of Calgary police officers and interfere with an
ongoing homicide investigation.
Kelly was arrested Thursday and his home was searched following an
investigation that began in March 2010. He was to appear in Calgary
Provincial Court on the charges Friday morning.
RCMP Supt. Randy McGinnis said the charges are very rare.
"In my 29 years, I've never heard of an individual being charged
under the Criminal Code for libel charges, defamation of character,"
McGinnis said during the news conference.
The website in question is still running, but RCMP can ask the New
York-based Internet provider to take it down.
What makes Kelly's site libellous, said McGinnis, are the false
allegations made against two city homicide investigators.
"It's the extent that he's gone to target and go after the members,"
"There's information that he specifically attacked the moral
integrity of the members, not on just one occasion but on several
Charges include four counts of publishing libellous statements on the
Internet against specific police officers between November 2009 and
Sept. 4, 2010.
A fifth charge accuses Kelly of obstructing a police officer from his
duties between June 2008 and Feb. 18, 2010.
Because the people allegedly targeted are Calgary police officers,
the investigation was handled by the RCMP, working with a special
The names of the officers weren't included in the RCMP's press