Calgary man faces rare libel charges for criticizing police online

 

 

 


 
 

RCMP 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.

Photograph by: 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," he said.

 

"There's information that he specifically attacked the moral integrity of the members, not on just one occasion but on several occasions."

 

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 prosecutor.

 

The names of the officers weren't included in the RCMP's press release.

 

smassinon@theherald.canwest.com

 

With file by David Hedley, Calgary Herald



Source

 

Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

The Calgary Police have just bitten the tail of a snake that may well bite them harder than they can imagine.

The charges laid are not just criminal, they are an abuse of the criminal process.

The Calgary police could have used a civil action, they could have got an injunction, they could have

sued him, yet, they chose to use a criminal charge that will need to prove that

John Kelly KNEW the information he published was false.

The ONUS falls on the Calgary police and that may well have as much chance of seeing pigs fly over the moon.

Check out John Kelly's web site.

http://www.rosscarrock.info

and

http://www.rosscarrock.info/id2.html