Alleged G20 Conspirator’s Legal Defence ‘Hampered’

Prosecutors Refusing to Make Copies of Evidence Against Pat Cadorette Available to Him

Almost four months after the G20 meeting in Toronto culminated in the arrest of over 1,100 activists and bystanders, several alleged conspirators are anxious to present their side of the story to a judge.

“They’re accusing 19 people of being the ringleaders of the riots, and I’m one of those 19 people,“ said Pat Cadorette, an activist who works with the anti-capitalist group Convergences des luttes anticapitalistes.

After his June 26 arrest, Cadorette spent two weeks in prison and has been charged with three counts of conspiracy: committing mischief [resulting in damages of over] $5,000, assaulting a police officer, and obstructing justice.

Since his release from prison, Cadorette has remained under house arrest in Montreal. Terms of his release state that he is only permitted to leave his house for work, medical emergencies, or to consult his lawyer, Jeffry House. Since House is based in Toronto, complications have arisen in building his defence.

“I travelled to Toronto on [Sept. 27], expecting to get a copy of the evidence against me,” said Cadorette. “We were told by the crown that they would only issue a copy of the evidence to the lawyers, [but only] if they signed a waiver saying they would not make a copy for the defendants. So I still don’t have a copy of the evidence against me, and if I want to read it, I’d have to go to Toronto.”

House is hopeful that the situation is temporary. He thinks there is “very little” evidence against Cadorette.

The court’s order leaves House unable to reveal evidence pinned against Cadorette by the prosecution, except testimony from two undercover agents and an audiotape of demonstration organization meetings.

“[The crown] gave out the materials on a kind of prohibition. We’re not allowed to publicize this information, it’s only for the purpose of preparing the case,” he said. “In the case of Patrick, him being in Montreal under a form of house arrest, and me being here, it’s an onerous way for us to have to prepare […] I am hopeful that we will get some concessions from the crown in the near future so we won’t have to keep on with this one-legged procedure.”

The crown continues to slowly drop charges against people arrested in conjunction with G20 protests. On Sept. 24, CLAC issued a press release announcing that four more people were cleared of any wrongdoing by an Ontario court.

“I don’t have any details, but I know that the crown offered them diversion, which means they would have to pay an amount to charity, and the charges would be dropped, but they all refused,” said Cadorette. “In the end, the crown stayed the charges.”

The Ontario Attorney General’s office could not be reached for comment as to why the charges were dropped.

As for the effect the house arrest is having on him, Cadorette remains defiant.

“I wouldn’t say house arrest is hard,” he said. “But it’s a major pain in the ass.”

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 08, published October 5, 2010.