Lawyer for churches opposed to health rules is accused of intimidating a judge | Coronavirus

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Lawyer for churches opposed to health rules accused of intimidating judge | Coronavirus

John Carpay is the President of the Legal Center for Constitutional Liberties, a Calgary-based organization.

A lawyer who represented churches that challenged health orders in Manitoba is accused of trying to intimidate Court of King's Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal. John Carpay of Calgary has hired private investigators to monitor the judge.

In a statement, Winnipeg police say they began their investigation in July 2021.

Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench of Manitoba, Glenn Joyal, held a special hearing at this time after realizing that he was followed by a private investigator. This investigator was trying to catch him breaking health rules.

Mr. Carpay, who is president of the Legal Center for Constitutional Liberties, then represented seven Manitoba churches challenging the health orders. Judge Joyal presided over this trial.

The Major Crimes Unit continued its investigation. […] Investigators have learned that the suspect is a legal representative of several churches and church associates in Manitoba and is in the process of bringing a constitutional challenge to health orders issued by the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. 19, says the police statement.

Mr. Carpay, 55, is charged with intimidating a person associated with the justice system and attempting to obstruct justice.

He was arrested by the City Police Department. Calgary on a Canada-wide warrant. The Manitoba Department of Justice authorized the laying of charges.

Glenn Joyal said he became aware that he was being observed on July 8, 2021. A vehicle had followed him from the courthouse, located in the heart of Winnipeg, to his home. A private detective reportedly called a young boy to ring his home to confirm his address.

The Legal Center for Constitutional Liberties had apologized for having followed the judge in July 2021.

John Carpay had told the court that the Legal Center for Constitutional Liberties had hired private investigators to track a number of public figures across the country to catch them if they violated public health regulations. /p>

He admitted that was an error in judgment on his part. He also specified, in a press release, that the recruitment of private detectives had been done on his own initiative and that he had not discussed it with the clients of the Legal Center for Constitutional Liberties, with the other lawyers of the Center or with the members of the board of directors.

He affirmed that his intention was not to influence the decision of Judge Joyal.

The Law Society of Manitoba is scheduled to hold disciplinary hearings for both lawyers beginning Feb. 8. Several counts have been brought against them, including that of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice.

In a statement published on January 1, the Legal Center for Constitutional Liberties says Mr. Carpay turned himself in to Calgary police as soon as he learned there was a warrant for his arrest.

The warrant was apparently issued in connection with events in 2021 and relates to an allegation of obstruction of justice, the statement said, which did not mention the intimidation charge.

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This accusation is unexpected and without explanation, argues the Center. The organization says the investigation by the Law Society and the reorganization of the governance of the Center are the appropriate ways to resolve this situation.

In an email, the assistant of the Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, Aimee Fortier, says the court is aware of charges against a lawyer in Alberta for unprecedented allegations regarding the surveillance of a judge.

She notes that there are institutional interests and concerns around the administration of justice in a case like this. However, continues Ms. Fortier, these issues will be resolved in the ordinary course of an impartial judgment that would result from these charges.

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