Courtroom rabble rouser granted internet access in jail

That access is intended to help Louie build his case in defence of several charges for gun smuggling

In order to build his case, a man who is representing himself and whose pretrial proceedings have been marked by resistance and bluster will be granted the use of internet in the Okanagan Correctional Centre, where he’s being held.

Alex Louie was arrested on Feb. 1 this year after allegedly attempting to smuggle two handguns into the country. The Canadian Border Security Agency said border agents found a pair of Hi-Point CF-380 handguns in his vehicle, despite his claim that he had no weapons at the border crossing.

Since his arrest Louie has been in custody, with court appearances marked by verbal attempts to arrest the judge and Crown lawyers for the “cultural genocide of (his) people,” a tune Louie continued to hum during a Monday morning scheduling hearing.

“We’re dealing with eight counts, here, an eight-count indictment dealing with importing—” Justice Gary Weatherill began while Louie cited “the theft of land” of First Nations people, among other issues.

“I’m here to deal with you, and I’m here to deal with the Crown when it comes to subject matter jurisdiction of the assumed trust relationship that you guys continue to assume, this de facto relationship,” Louie rebutted.

“You need to understand where your jurisdiction comes from. It comes from the enforced registration of a person in the name of Alex Louie, which is based on cultural genocide of a people.”

Related: Man calls for judge’s arrest, gets trial date

Louie is to undergo trial for two counts each of the unauthorized import of firearms, exchanging, selling or purchasing illegally imported goods, smuggling goods into Canada and possessing firearms without a licence or registration, along with one count of a false or deceptive statement on the import of goods.

Representing himself, Louie told the court that he had some documents he wished to provide the judge and Crown counsel, noting that without access to the internet, he has been impeded in his access to resources. Holding up inch-thick stacks of papers for the judge, the Crown and himself, he said he was also forced to handwrite each of his submissions.

“This is four or five months of writing. I have to write it three times, and I have to do drafts, so I have to write it … four or five times before and end product comes out,” Louie said. “The unfortunate reality is I don’t have the access like you guys have. You guys have all the law libraries, all the annotated versions of courtroom procedures.”

Weatherill asked Louie if he had access to legal aid, but Louie said he didn’t need it.

“When it comes to legal aid, there again, the oath that you guys swear, you guys don’t work for us. You do not protect our interest,” he said. “I don’t need help; I need access.”

Louie told the court he had asked “on numerous occasions” for access to the Internet but said he has been denied that access. Weatherill said he believed the OCC, “a brand new facility,” should have access to the internet.

“I’ve made the order that you’re entitled to have access to the internet for that purpose, for the purpose of defending yourself in this case,” Weatherill said. “You should be able to get that information you seek within reason to defend these charges.”

The fix-date hearing for Louie was put off until Tuesday morning, with Crown counsel pushing for a late-August trial date. The trial is expected to run four to five days.

Just Posted

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Oktopus to headline Music in the Park

The West Kelowna night of music will happen once again this Friday

Long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna just weeks away from completion

Ministry of Transportation says it plans to have the road open before the start of the school year

Blasting begins at Beachview Drive in West Kelowna

Blasting begins as part of residential development

Updated: RCMP no longer suspect death of Vernon woman is suspicious

West Kelowna RCMP continue to investigate the woman’s sudden death

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read