Saint John Telegraph Journal

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Man facing charges of defamatory libel

Saint John Telegraph-Journal

A 40-year old French Village man, who has been protesting a child custody decision for two years by picketing the Provincial Building on Charlotte Street, is facing charges of defamatory libel.

The man is expected to apear in court on Jan. 8 to enter a plea.

The Criminal Code section on Libel is rarely used. Most libel cases arise when one person sues another for damaging his reputation.

In 1999, the man was denied access to his children by a decision of Mr. Justice Raymond Guerette.

After a drawn-out legal battle, he lost custody of his 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter to his wife, who now lives in Ontario.

But the man has contended that paperwork his wife provided to the court contained misinformation and the judge based his decision in part on that misinformation.

He said he can't afford $25,000 to go to a higher court but has been carrying signs, critical of the justice system, in front of the building off and on for the past two years.

His cause has been taken up by a couple of advcacy groups and in 2000 he travelled across the country as part of a campaign to give fathers more access to their children by changing the Divorce Act.

The federal governmennt recently appointed Mr. Justice Guerette to the trial division of the Court of Queens Bench after he served for several years as a family court judge.

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