Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tremaine Walks on Technicality

Well, it isn’t exactly the birthday gift we had hoped for, but given the circumstances we aren’t terribly surprised.

Today Terry Tremaine managed to have get off on contempt charges related to his violation of the CHRT decision against him. However it wasn’t because the judge in the case ruled that he hadn’t done the deed, or that the CHRT decision was invalid, but because the CHRC didn’t immediately register the decision with the Federal Court or make Tremaine aware. In short, Tremaine had what appears to be a period of grace where he could continue to post hate propaganda until the decision was registered with the Federal Court and he was informed as such.

It really is pretty convoluted. As we understand, when the attorney for the Commission realized that the CHRT decision had not been registered and that Tremaine hadn’t been served with the registration order, contempt proceeding were stopped until Tremaine was served, at which point contempt charges were reinstated and the proceedings carried on. By this point Tremaine had been arrested on hate crime charges, of which bail conditions restricted him from posting on hate sites such as Stormfront.

It seems that those bail restrictions saved his ass in a way, since had he posted new messages after the contempt proceedings were reconvened, the new posts would have been subject to contempt charges.

At least this is our take on it. Confusing, but we get it and understand the judge’s reasoning. And in fact, we actually sort of appreciate that the judge was such a stickler for procedure. Those technicalities are pretty important and serve to protect the good guys as well, though it is frustrating that such a simple mistake allowed Tremaine to get off.

But hold the phone. For those who might celebrate this technical victory, we do understand that Tremaine is still fighting more serious hate crime charges. We’re not sure when that trial will begin, but it should prove to be very interesting. In addition, should Tremaine post on Stormfront or his own website, not only will he have violated his bail conditions (again) but it would appear to us that he would again be subject to contempt charges being brought against him.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: We managed to get a copy of the decision. It isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Tremaine and his views. It also indicates that the only reason Tremaine walked was because of the technicality, otherwise he was guilty as sin.

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