Germaine Junior Breau (left) and Aaron Francis (right).
Verdict postponed because of a power outage that affected government computers
CBC News, June 19, 2014
Two anti-shale gas protesters will have to wait until next week for a verdict, all because of an osprey nest. Germain Junior Breau of Upper Rexton, N.B., and Aaron Francis of Eskasoni, N.S., are being tried together on a number of charges related to a clash between police and protesters on October 17, 2013.
The verdict that was supposed to be handed down by the judge on Thursday was postponed because of a power outage that occurred June 9 in Fredericton. Three days earlier, an osprey built a nest on the power lines, which caused power problems for days.
The outage affected government computers and prevented Judge Leslie Jackson from accessing some of the files he needed.
Breau and Francis have been in custody since the clash between police and protesters October 17.
Lawyer Alison Menard represents both Breau and Francis.
She said this case has been difficult for her clients.
“Every time there’s a delay, even a 24-hour delay, is a long period of time for somebody’s who in a remand situation so it really does cause a lot of difficulties,” she said.
“It may not sound like a lot to add another week but when you’ve been in jail since October it’s a really long period of time.”
The trial has been on and off since it started in March.
Both Breau and Francis have already pleaded guilty to some charges, but the trial centred on more serious charges to which they both pleaded not guilty.
Twenty police officers took the stand during the trail. Several testified they saw Breau with a gun.
There was also testimony about molotov cocktails being thrown. One officer said one of the cocktails landed so close to him he could feel the heat.
Final arguments were heard on May 15.
When the trial wrapped up, Judge Leslie Jackson said he would need time to go through all of the evidence, including videotapes taken that morning in Rexton.
The judge will be back in court to deliver his verdict June 26.