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Left-wing activist Jaggi Singh has been released of all charges in a Quebec City court, due to the city’s inability to hold a trial in English.
Singh, who was facing charges of Obstruction of Justice, was also facing charges of impersonation after being arrested by police and giving the name “Michel Goulet,” with a home address of “the Colosseum,” attempting to impersonate a former Quebec Nordique of the same name.
After 29 months of charges being laid, the trial began—but Quebec’s chief prosecutor Steve Marquis had to postpone the trial.
Mainly due to the fact that the main prosecutor, Marie-Helene Guillemette, has been absent on maternity leave.
This meant that Marquis would have to carry out the trial, but due to his very limited English, the trial would not be proceeding as planned.
Judge Guillemette had set the trial for January without mentioning that she would be absent on maternity leave, something that judges say boiled down to disorganization.
With no one able to hold the trial, Justice Bordeleau announced that Singh would be acquitted of the two charges against him.
In an interview after the decision, Singh chalked up the acquittal to the court “self-sabotaging,” knowing that the Crown would lose in a full trial.
Singh later returned to Montreal, telling media that his struggle “is not in the courtrooms,” but is rather against the “far right.”
Singh has a long history of activism in his hometown Montreal and throughout Canada.
In 2002, Singh participated in an anti-Israel protest against Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, held by the Hillel club at Concordia University. The talk was later cancelled, as the event turned into a violent clash between protestors and security.
In January 2003, Singh was deported by Israeli authorities after having gone to the West Bank.
On April 19, 2006, Singh was arrested at a pro-Palestinian poetry event at El Salon cafe. There are conflicting reports as to why Singh was arrested, though local police say they were responding to an alleged assault on a taxi driver.