Gregory Alan Elliott Twitter Trial Update: Crown Starts Off Relentless, Ends Hearing In Tears

Gregory Alan Elliott's snoetry...

Gregory Alan Elliott’s snoetry…

Last Friday was the one-thousand and eighteenth day since Gregory Alan Elliott was arrested and charged for alleged criminal harassment of three politically connected social justice activists. The arrest caused Elliott to lose his job after over a decade of employment as a graphic artist with the City of Mississauga. Elliott’s bail terms have restricted him from using the internet ever since.

In our last story about Elliott’s prolonged trial we covered an unscheduled hearing on August 5th. Crown prosecutor Marni Goldenberg had made a serious mistake handling the case. Elliott’s charge was that he “knowingly” harassing his alleged victims, but Goldenberg changed her story during closing remarks stating that he “either knowingly or recklessly” harassed them. The judge responded saying “there can be no conviction for something for which Elliott is not charged.”

With Elliott’s defence away on holiday, dialing in on a speakerphone and unable to see the judge’s facial expressions, the August hearing was a complete waste of time. With everyone was in the courtroom last week one would expect there would be some progress on resolving the problem. But after three hours debate, with the Crown relentlessly defending her mistake, the trial abruptly ended after she fell into tears.

The Crown defended her mistake, labelling her omission of the word “recklessly” as human error, and took the position the court should accept it was originally intended. She used instances of case law to back her argument; one where police mislabelled “marijuana resin” as “marijuana”, and another where a defendant’s charges were changed mid-trial from “assault” to “assault with a deadly weapon”.

The Crown’s argument wasn’t very convincing, watching the judge’s facial expressions, it seemed he was also unimpressed. Interrupting at one point, the judge called her out on the marijuana citation- explaining how the example of forms of marijuana is radically different than differences in an accused mens rea (their mental state: knowingly vs recklessly).

A short recess was called to allow the defence to speak with his client to discuss how they should proceed. It didn’t take long after court was back in session for it to become clear there wouldn’t be any progress. The judge confirmed this declaring his concern there was a logjam.

Elliott’s defence argued that it was an injustice to subject his client to the extra costs related to defending against the Crown’s mistake. He explained to the court that Elliott has already paid him $50,000, is in debt for another $30,000. and that “it’s unlikely he’ll ever be able to repay”. At one point the defence indicated it might be an Abuse of Process to put Elliott into this position.

Ignoring claims of injustice, the Crown argued against the defence’s request. At one point the judge kindly ask her if she was sure about her decision, but she stood unwavering.

Then suddenly, after almost three hours into the day’s hearing, the Crown started crying. She grabbed a tissue from across the table, dabbed her eyes and apologized to the judge saying she was upset over a personal issue. The judge shut-down the hearing to reconvene on October 6th- the date originally scheduled for the final ruling on Elliott’s innocence or guilt.

Detective Banglid testified in court that Eliott’s tweets were never threatening. One of his alleged victims bragged in court about her vigilante Twitter attacks against people she deems to be “misogynists”. Evidence was introduced into the court that two of the alleged victims spread misinformation that Elliott was a “pedophile”. A large number of Elliott’s tweets used in evidence against him were purely political- what many observers see as protected speech. Elliott’s most offensive tweet was to accuse his alleged victims of having “fat asses”.

It would be easy to say that justice was delayed last Friday, but that would mean we’d have to assume that justice is still achievable. Even if Elliott is found guilty on all counts, the punishment he’s already faced in no way fits the crime he’s been accused of. Elliott has lost his long term job, life savings, right to communicate online- and has endured cruel, inaccurate, and humiliating media coverage (much from the alleged victim’s friends and associates).

If you’re one of the people out there wondering how and why this case was allowed to get so far down the rabbit hole you’re not alone. I’ve been digging into the details and will continue to between now and the next hearing in October. Upcoming stories will explore more about the alleged victim’s relationships with city councillors, and their already established working relationships with the police.

Click here for a a larger version of the interactive relationship map below:

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    • Kevin K on September 13, 2015 at 00:51
    • Reply

    Great update Greg! I love the relationship map.

    So I wonder what will happen at next at the October hearing. Will the judge announce his verdict or will he announce a decision on amending the charges and drag it out even further. I don’t know why he didn’t shoot down the crown when she asked to amend the charges. He should have told her “too late! ….you didn’t charge GAE with recklessness and you did not present evidence of recklessness….I will be making my decision based on the charges made and the evidence presented”

    What is being done to GAE is cruel and inhumane. I don’t know how the crown and the idiot Toronto cop – Jeff Bangild can sleep at night knowing that they have destroyed a fine family man.

    I wonder if GAE would have been better served by a trial by jury. A jury would have reached a decision within hours of the defense delivering its closing statement. I think most jurors would be shocked and appalled that GAE was even charged over a twitter dust-up and they would acquit him in a heartbeat.

    Did the Defense attorney ask that the onerous bail conditions be dropped? I can’t understand why the Defense attorney hasn’t argued for this long ago so that GAE can earn a living. He can argue that the further delay is costing GAE in legal costs but I don’t think it will do any good. I don’t think courts award legal costs in criminal cases.

    I look forward to your upcoming reporting. There are so many angles of this trial to explore. What amazes me is the almost total lack of interest from the media over this important trial. Blatchford has done a few stories but it took her about three years to wake-up to the fact that freedom of speech is under attack in this this trial. If GAE is convicted we might as well shut-down all social media in Canada because it will mean that anyone can have their lives destroyed over the most innocuous internet posting.

      • Sean on October 22, 2015 at 20:44
      • Reply

      Unfortunately, trial by jury is not available for a summary offence. I am aware that this charge can proceed indictable which carries a 10 year max. sentence. Since he appears to be facing 6 months, I have to conclude the Crown is proceeding with a summary conviction. This should have been dismissed long ago.

      • air on October 22, 2015 at 22:54
      • Reply

      Sorry. I too really appreciate the update!
      I would love to donate and ask others
      But the f@kin map!
      I dont care about links or some info
      Not all g8 summit protesters were idiots, right
      Most people dont want to be stopped, after a long day at work, just because they look different!

    1. Actually the detective defended him “Detective Banglid testified in court that Eliott’s tweets were NEVER threatening”

    • Kevin K on September 13, 2015 at 01:45
    • Reply

    Speaking of interesting angles to report on – it would be interesting to explore if Det Jeff Bangild broke the law when he disclosed evidence of his investigation to attendees of a “Smile” (social media in law enforcement) conference in sunny Sunnyvale California in 2013.

    From my understanding of the law – disclosure of evidence before the courts to a third party (which the attendees of the conference would be considered) would require the approval of a judge. For instance when media request evidence before a court they have to go before a judge. Aside from the prosecutor and police only the defendant is entitled to disclosure.

    When you watch the video of Bangild posted on your relationship map note that he asked that the video be shut-off and live-tweeting stop near the end? This is when he begins to show slides with evidence from this case. While he was careful to close down the video the power point presentation was posted to the internet in its entirety! Evidence from the GAE case begins at slide 42! (I have saved screen grabs from ALL relevant slides if by chance this link gets taken down)

    Bangild has blacked out GAE’s name and face but left enough information so that anyone (with half a brain) can figure out GAE’s identity. All you have to do is search for “lady doth snark too much” in Twitter and BINGO!

    (“snark too much” is a reference to @Ladysnarksalot aka Heather Reilly aka “Heather Arr” on Facebook who is one of GAE’s two accusers. After GAE was arrested Reilly tweeted to Bangild that she too was a “victim” of GAE even though she had WILLINGLY engaged in a consensual two-way twitter exchange with GAE just days before his arrest in fact GAE’s last tweet was to Reilly! The fact that Bangild would add Heather Reilly to the charges against GAE proves what a complete moron he is. It is dangerous to have someone this stupid wearing a badge – and carrying a gun – with the powers to arrest)

    In his power point presentation Bangild reveals that GAE was born April 13, 1960 and that he lives at the “intersection of “Queensway and Berl Avenue” and that he has four sons. Bangild reveals the tools he used to gather information and how he was able to confirm GAE’s identity.

    It should be noted that this is the confidential information released by the presentation slides. We do not know what other confidential information was leaked to third-parties by Bangild in his verbal presentation.

    Bangild has used this presentation twice at two separate “SMILE” conference at sunny resort locations in the U.S. – in essence benefiting from the misery that he has caused GAE.

    It would be interesting if you could interview Bangild. Ask him how despite the fact he testified GAE’s tweets did not contain any threats of any kind he still went ahead and arrested GAE. Ask him if he is able to sleep at night knowing what he has done to an innocent man. Ask him if he thinks it was fair to disclose the facts of this case to third-party attendees of a “SMILE” conference. Ask him why did someone from his office approach Tim Meehan as if they were process servers? Was that an act of intimidation?

    If – as I suspect – Bangild broke the law or at least police procedures I hope his career in law enforcement is over. You can just tell from watching the youtube video that the guy is a total creep IMO- he is the type of person who gives good cops bad names.

    Even if Bangild didn’t break the law by disclosing evidence before the courts to a third party did he violate police confidentiality rules? In the slide presentation which is available to anyone on the internet he reveals police investigative methods. Usually police like to keep this information to themselves. Police officers swear an oath to confidentiality. Did Bangild break that oath?

    • Kevin K on September 13, 2015 at 02:05
    • Reply

    Another IMPORTANT angle to investigate are potential perjury charges against Heather Reilly aka @ladysnarksalot

    In closing arguments by the defense it was revealed that Reilly apparently lied under oath.

    Under direct questioning by the crown – Heather Reilly claimed that she changed her twitter avatar from a picture of herself to a cartoon picture because she was “afraid” of Elliott.

    On re-direct – Defense attorney Murray confronted Reilly with the fact that she had changed her avatar long before she even had any exchanges with Elliott on twitter! Reilly admitted to Murray that she had changed it before her involvement with Elliott claiming she was concerned about men in general.

    Perjury is a VERY SERIOUS crime. It is far far worse than even the BOGUS allegations against GAE. It appears that Reilly was willing to get on the stand and lie under oath in a bid to destroy GAE. Luckily the Defense caught her in her apparent lie!

    I sure hope that Heather Reilly is charged with perjury. Anyone who lies under oath should be punished to the MAXIMUM extent of the law. Our justice system cannot function with liars on the witness stand. It will be a HUGE travesty of justice if Heather Reilly isn’t charged with perjury – an indictable offence which comes with a penalty of up to 14 years behind bars ! (14 years without access to twitter would be like extreme torture to someone like Heather Reilly)

      • Fritz Becker on September 22, 2015 at 01:47
      • Reply

      If it is true that this Heather Reilly committed perjury on the stand, and by definition filed a false police report, then if acquitted Mr Elliott could file a libel suit against her and his other accusers seeking financial damages for what this trial has cost him.

        • Kevin K on September 23, 2015 at 03:45
        • Reply

        In theory Elliott could sue his accusers although if they don’t have deep pockets it probably wouldn’t be worth it. If I was Elliott I would definitely insist that Reilly be charged with perjury (the court documents make it clear she lied) as well as public mischief. When Reilly tweeted the cop Jeff Bangild claiming she to was a “victim” of Elliott – it was just a couple of days after she had willingly engaged in a consensual two-way twitter exchange with Elliott. I think similar charges could be filed against Guthrie. If Tim Meehan – who wrote the “amicus curiae” to the judge alleging a conspiracy by Guthrie and Reilly – is willing to step forward and provide sworn statements to police and sworn testimony in court – Reilly and Guthrie could be sent away to jail. Also if Tim Reilly is willing to step forward a civil lawsuit against the Toronto Police Force and Det Jeff Bangild for malicious prosecution would have a good chance of sucess IMO.

        1. In due time, Kevin, in due time.

          Why is amicus curaie in grocer quotes BTW? There is a long paper trail that LSUC has about this as well that the judge has in his possession. This is a serious matter about bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. Let the benches look into it.

    • Guy fox on September 22, 2015 at 16:53
    • Reply

    “Then suddenly, after almost three hours into the day’s hearing, the Crown started crying. She grabbed a tissue from across the table, dabbed her eyes and apologized to the judge saying she was upset over a personal issue. The judge shut-down the hearing to reconvene on October 6th- the date originally scheduled for the final ruling on Elliott’s innocence or guilt.”

    All I can say is what the fuck. A crown prosecutor using a damsel in distress move to end a hearing and no commentary on this? Shit is fucked up. The lawyer is using female privilege in a case about sexism and hate culture and the judge seems unmoved by this. Elliot must think he is in some kind of gyno twilight zone nightmare.
    I just can not believe this is not getting covered. I really cant believe the female crown prosecutor even felt comfortable enough to start crying IN COURT!!!! While Prosecuting a man who has been riddled with defamation of character lost his job and many other rights. I mean who does that? If anyone has “personal problems” it is him! And she is hoping they all come to light but she is still the victim just fuckin WOW!
    Female victimization used by the crown to give herself more time to form a better argument for the addition of new charges uppon a man who cannot afford the current trial payments and that this is allowed to happen. Just sickening did this really happen?!?

    1. Be kind to the judge, he comes across to me as a fair and kind man. He’s limited how he can react to such situations, real court is a lot different than TV court…

    • Harpy on October 29, 2015 at 19:10
    • Reply

    I miss @nataliezed on the relation map.

  1. It’s November now. Did this October hearing happen?

    1. The hearing was a mess, no decision was made. Elliott now has to wait until January- it’s a real miscarriage of justice…

    2. The hearing was a mess, no decision was made. Elliott now has to wait until January- it’s a real miscarriage of justice…

  2. This is truly disgusting. There is no way such a stupid charge should take so long to deal with. A lot is riding on this decision, it will have a tremendous effect on freedom of expression here in Canada, making it dangerous to even communicate with one of the ‘special’ people with whom you dare not disagree.
    It is interesting that right wing religionists have wanted the right to censor criticism of their malarky for some time now but it is the hyper liberal privileged middle and upper middle class white women who are going to bring this kind of censorship to Canada. This is too much like a sci-fi story about a distopic future society only it is real and it is now.

    • John on December 9, 2015 at 01:59
    • Reply

    This is some communist level oppression, my god. This poor man is being singled out by some angry feminists with an agenda. If this goes through, the government will have violated his right to free speech, and god help the rest of us because this will open Canada to a whole wagon load of bullshit. Christ, to think someone can be put in jail for a non-threatening argument over the internet. Children are committing suicide over far worse, REAL harrassment, and no one is doing shit about it. A real feminist would understand and appreciate free speech, its not something they always had. Unfortunately, all too many of these “feminazi`s“ have tainted what was once a good and pure movement based around equal rights. Now it`s about female privilege, and shitting on anyone who doesn`t agree with them.

    Canada. Come on.

  3. Methinks the Lady doth snark too much. justice: 1, bitch: 0

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