Montreal

Montreal activist Jaggi Singh freed with conditions

Montreal civil rights activist Jaggi Singh, who faces obstruction and impersonation charges in connection with an anti-far right protest, will be back in municipal court in Quebec City this afternoon.

Singh charged with obstruction, impersonation following Quebec City anti-far right protest

Jaggi Singh was arrested on Aug. 20, 2017, after an anti-far right demonstration was declared illegal by Quebec City police. (Radio-Canada/Maxime Corneau)

Montreal civil rights activist Jaggi Singh has been released with conditions, after pleading not guilty to charges of obstruction of a peace officer and impersonation in connection with an anti-far right protest in Quebec City on Aug. 20.

Municipal court Judge Patrice Simard imposed conditions to Singh's release, including keeping the peace, paying a $250 bail and staying away from the grounds of the National Assembly. 

Crown prosecutor Marie-Hélène Guillemette had requested Singh's fingerprints also be taken. However, Simard said the municipal court doesn't have the right to impose such a condition at this stage, given the nature of the charges against Singh.

The judge said Singh does not pose a threat to public safety, and he's confident Singh will show up to court for his trial. 

Singh's next court appearance is set for Sept. 6. 

The veteran protester was charged following a counter-protest to an anti-immigration rally led by the far-right group La Meute.

In a statement issued through lawyer Arij Riahi Tuesday, Singh said he was arrested for impersonating former Quebec Nordiques hockey star Michel Goulet.

"I would appreciate support from people in Quebec City as I appear in court tomorrow," he said. "Long live the Nordiques!"

About 20 people rallied at the courthouse Wednesday to show Singh their support.

About 20 supporters came out to show their support for Jaggi Singh, who is facing charges of obstruction and impersonation following an anti-far right rally in Quebec City on Aug. 20, 2017. (Peter Tardif)

Singh, who is representing himself in court, appeared Wednesday morning before Judge Jacques Ouellet — the same judge who signed a warrant for Singh's arrest last week.

He asked for a different judge and was assigned Judge Nathalie Duchesne, who does not speak English.

Crown seeks bail conditions

After initially opposing Singh's release, Crown prosecutor Marie-Hélène Guillemette said she would agree to it if he complied with certain conditions, including being fingerprinted, providing a valid address and staying away from the Quebec City region.

Jaggi Singh was escorted into the Quebec City municipal court to face charges of obstruction and impersonation. (Radio-Canada)

Singh, who had spoken French in court, then switched to English, saying he wanted to be sure he understood the conditions.

Duchesne adjourned court until it could accommodate Singh's request for an explanation in English, which Simard provided Wednesday afternoon.

With files from Radio-Canada