Accused orders judge to drop illegal paraglider case
By: Mike McIntyre
Posted: 01/9/2015 3:00 AM | Comments: 11
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A Winnipeg man charged with illegally soaring over the city in a powered paraglider claims he should be exempt from prosecution.
Tony Gibson, 35, appeared in court Thursday, claiming to be a sovereign individual.
Acting as his own lawyer, Gibson went on a lengthy tirade in which he repeatedly claimed his civil rights are being abused.
“These are actions aimed at destruction of my human rights,” said Gibson. “This is an unlawful summons.”
Gibson is part of the so-called Freemen On The Land movement, which has often tied up the courts in what are often deemed frivolous, time-wasting battles.
He told provincial court Judge Sandy Chapman he was giving her 15 minutes to drop the case against him — or he would launch a flurry of related legal motions and lawsuits.
“I’m giving the court the opportunity to do its judicial duty,” Gibson warned.
“There’s no force of law to proceed with a trial. I’m very disappointed I’m the only one in court here who knows the law.”
Gibson balked when he was told the matter would be proceeding and he could save his arguments for the trial.
No trial date has been set.
“This has destroyed my life,” Gibson said.
He also took issue with the fact he is the person named in the court documents, arguing he is “not a person” as defined by common law.
Gibson was arrested last year after the crew of Air1, the Winnipeg police helicopter, saw him flying above Wilkes Avenue and Charleswood Road.
Gibson did not have a licence to operate power paragliding equipment inside city limits.
He was charged with the dangerous operation of an aircraft and released on a promise to appear in court.
The Crown said Thursday it will provide video evidence of Gibson’s flight as part of the case against him. Gibson countered by saying he has his own personal video, which he intends to show.
Police had been contacted by Transport Canada aviation enforcement about Gibson, who had previously been warned by the agency regarding his operation of the power paraglider in a restricted area.
“It’s absolutely out of the ordinary for us,” Const. Eric Hofley said at the time, noting it was the first such arrest for city police.
Hofley said the accused posed a serious risk to commercial and other air traffic headed to or from the Richardson International Airport. The paraglider unit was seized and impounded.
A powered paraglider has a parachute and a small motor.
A 25-hour training course, which costs about $4,000, and an ultralight pilot permit issued by Transport Canada are required to fly one.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 9, 2015 0
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