Newspaper in Wakefield, Qc should be careful of libel

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by admin on December 9, 2009

The Editor,

Let me first say I love your paper in Wakefield, Quebec. However, I have some concern surrounding Trevor Greenway’s coverage of the “Bonnie and Clyde” saga.

We are advised in no uncertain terms by Mr. Greenway in his front page splash in the Dec. 2 issue, that Seguin and Barrette “stole lumber to build house“. In a more guarded take on the situation, police spokesman Martin Fournel was careful to say “we can presume that they are building their house with stolen stuff”.

Mr. Greenway also advises that a search warrant “revealed a bow and arrow that was buried in the basement, some jewelry and some power tools” with obvious inference that these items were stolen. It may not be a surprise that power tools were found in the home as Mr. Seguin is apparently a contractor. Were those tools stolen – we don’t know yet. It’s possible that the jewelry and the bow and arrow seized belong to the couple – again, we don’t know yet.

I trust that the criminal courts will sort the answers to these questions out, but in the meantime the Low Down might want to brush up on libel and slander laws and temper future reporting declaring guilt until such time as guilt is proven.

Brian Whyte

Ottawa, Ontario

Editor’s note: The article states that it is Officer Fournel’s opinion that the house was probably built with stolen goods. Nowhere does the article state that the goods in the basement were stolen, nor does it declare anyone’s guilt.