Former MP calls for justice, again
Friday, November 05, 1999
By Peter Worthington
activist Leonard Peltier was arrested in
Canada in 1976 and extradited to the U.S.
for the 1975 shooting deaths of two FBI agents
during a range war on South Dakota's Pine Ridge
reserve (near Wounded Knee), Allmand was
first Canada's solicitor-general and then minister
of Indian affairs.
Peltier is in the 23rd year of two consecutive life sentences. At first, I felt Peltier was guilty, but over years of examining the case and evidence, became convinced he didn't do it.
There seems not the slightest doubt that the FBI framed him. Even today, the FBI is determined he'll never go free - even though they now admit they haven't a clue who did the actual shooting.
In 1994, Allmand reviewed the case for then-justice minister Allan Rock, as did other justice department lawyers. Allmand released his report this week, after Justice Minister Anne McClellan released her own report (after contacting U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno) that the extradition was on the up-and-up and proper. Here are the highlights of Allmand's 1994 report on the extradition, with comments on memos submitted by Justice lawyers:
Allmand concludes that if the Canadian lawyer didn't know about the excluded affidavit, "the FBI was guilty of trying to manufacture a case and mislead the Canadian justice system." (The lawyer himself denied any involvement and accused the FBI of trying to cover their butts.)
Three judges questioned FBI integrity. Judge Ross
of the U.S. Court of Appeal asked "why the
prosecutor's officer continued to extract more
from her (Poor Bear) ... is beyond my
understanding." Appeal Judge Gerald Heaney:
"The FBI used improper tactics in securing
Peltier's extradition ..." Judge
R.P. Anderson of the B.C. Supreme Court: "It seems
clear to me that the conduct of the U.S.
government involved misconduct from
inception." Judge Heaney determined that
violence at Pine Ridge (over selling uranium
resources that tribal elders opposed) was the
"culmination of the federal government's refusal
to respond to the 'legitimate grievances' raised by
the Indian community."
The FBI blocked
publication of Peter Mathiessen's book, In the
Spirit of Crazy Horse for eight years with
legal actions at a cost of some $25 million.
Stolen boots are an FBI concern? Give us a break. They were there as the vanguard for concentrated attack - giving rise to the "self-defence" acquittal of Butler and Robideau.
In essence, Allmand in 1994
was "convinced that there was fraud and misconduct
at both the extradition and the trial."
© Copyright Sun Media Group 1999