CJFE Welcomes Court Ruling on National Post, RCMP

Friday, October 4, 2002
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) welcomes a court ruling allowing the CBC and The Globe and Mail to join a legal challenge of a search warrant and assistance order granted against the National Post. "The ruling comes as a heartening development in the fight for press freedoms," CJFE Executive Director Joel Ruimy said. "We strongly support the National Post in its efforts to defend a journalist's right to communicate with confidential sources. "The court ruling is all the more encouraging because, in allowing the two media organizations to join the challenge, the judge described the case as involving 'important public issues' that require 'a full hearing'." The RCMP obtained the search warrant and assistance order against the National Post in July. The documents require Post editor-in-chief Ken Whyte to surrender to police some documents mailed to the newspaper in 2001. The documents pertain to a $615,000 loan by the Business Development Bank to the Grand-Mere Inn., at the centre of a controversy involving the Prime Minister. In Ontario Superior Court yesterday, Madam Justice Mary Lou Benotto rejected arguments by Crown prosecutors that the CBC and The Globe and Mail should not be allowed to intervene in the case. Justice Benotto said in part that: "The powers of the police to investigate crime will need to be considered against the rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which include the freedom of the press. "An independent media which is free to conduct investigative journalism is fundamental to our democratic society," the justice added. CJFE is an association of more than 400 journalists, editors, producers, publishers, students and others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and around the world. For more information, contact CJFE at (416) 515-9622 or by e-mail at cjfe@cjfe.org

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