Roger Clement, one of the individuals charged with the attack on the RBC branch in Ottawa in April, has plead guilty. He remains steadfast in his refusal to provide information incriminating anyone else. Charges have been stayed against Matthew Morgan-Brown, who was initially also charged in this case.
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Tuesday November 9th, Ottawa Movement Defense
Update from Court Proceedings
In solidarity with our friends who are not free!
Today, Roger, one of the three June 18 arrestees, pled guilty to charges related to the arson of the RBC branch in the Glebe in May. Charges against Matt have been stayed. Charges against Claude related to a February 1st incident of mischief have also been stayed. However, Claude is still fighting other charges for which he was arrested on June 18th. [Please Note: Claude was never charged in relation to the arson, but was arrested at the same time as Matt and Roger and faced unrelated charges.]
This is heavy news for all of us, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all who are standing by the three arrestees. By no means is this over. Roger returns to court for sentencing in early December. Ottawa Movement Defense would like to reiterate its full support for all three of the J18 defendants. This is a difficult process for all three arrestees, as well as their families, friends and coworkers who have been missing them.
Support for Roger is very important in the coming weeks while he awaits sentencing on December 6th. You can write to him at:
Joseph Roger Clement
Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre
2244 Innes Road
We are also still taking donations to help with the legal costs.
Ottawa Movement Defense now has a bank account with the Ottawa Women's Credit Union. Cheques can be made out to 'Ottawa Movement Defense' and mailed to the mailing address below.
furthermore we would like to express our solidarity to all political prisoners, and wish the best to the G20 arrestees across Ontario who are currently going through the court system and fighting for their freedom.
Ottawa Movement Defense is a legal and political support committee for the June 18th Defendants. We take direction from the June 18th defendants. Our support activities include: coordinating visits, fundraising towards legal and support costs, informing friends and supporters of the court proceedings, etc. We do not provide legal advice to the defendants.
Ottawa Movement Defense
207 Bank Street
What follows is a mainstream news story from the Ottawa Sun:
OTTAWA — The man who pleaded guilty to arson in the May firebombing of a bank refuses to rat out his accomplice.
Joseph Roger Clement admitted to being the first of two men to enter the RBC branch in the Glebe neighbourhood late on May 18. According to video evidence, the first man doused the bank with a liquid believed to be gasoline and the second man threw a Molotov cocktail, starting the blaze.
But Clement's lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said Clement taking responsibility doesn't extend to naming his accomplice.
Clement also pleaded guilty to mischief over $5,000 for vandalizing another RBC branch at 745 Bank St. on Feb. 1.
Charges against co-accused Matthew Morgan-Brown, 32, were stayed due to insufficient evidence.
Claude Haridge, a co-accused in the Feb. 1 vandalism case, was never directly implicated in the May firebombing. Charges against him from the vandalism case were stayed Tuesday but ammunition storage charges laid during the firebombing investigation will be dealt with Dec. 14.
Clement will be held in custody until his sentencing hearing Dec. 6.
Clement, 58, was brought into court in a rumpled tan blazer and blue shirt with no tie. The retired civil servant smiled, nodded and winked at some of those in court, including former co-accused Morgan-Brown in the front row.
"It's been a long time coming for him," said Greenspon. "He took responsibility for his actions at the time and he's now formally taken responsibility in court and will be facing sentencing."
Crown prosecutor Mark Holmes said there simply wasn't enough evidence to prosecute Morgan-Brown but said charges could be reinstated within a year.
"If more evidence comes to light, the Crown will proceed," he said.
Video evidence from the bank fire will be played at Clement's sentencing hearing next month.
Morgan-Brown's lawyer, Ian Carter, said the only evidence against his client was that two years ago he had a similar jacket to one worn by one of the firebombers.
He said Morgan-Brown was known to have been part of political protests and investigators perceived him as being among "the usual suspects."
"They simply didn't have enough evidence to place my guy as one of the individuals," said Carter, adding he's been told the investigation is no longer active.
Carter said Morgan-Brown hopes to get his old job back, but wouldn't say what that was.