Nfld. & Labrador

Charge dropped, absolute discharge for jailed Muskrat Falls opponents

Two people who were previously held in custody over Muskrat Falls protest-related charges saw the conclusion of their cases Friday at Supreme Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Both admitted to breaking a court injunction on separate occasions

Proceedings took place in this courthouse Friday. Justice George Murphy presided from Corner Brook via video conference. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Two people who were previously held in custody over Muskrat Falls protest-related charges saw the conclusion of their cases Friday at Supreme Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Eldred Davis who spent 10 days at Her Majesty's Penitentiary for refusing to sign an undertaking was granted an absolute discharge.

Melissa Best who spent a night in custody after walking onto the main Muskrat Falls site had her charges dropped.

Eldred Davis

"I guess I gained a significant amount, really, by being discharged," Davis said Friday.

"It doesn't change the fact that I think this whole project is wrong."

Davis was sent to HMP this July along with two other members of the Labrador Land Protectors.

Eldred Davis was given an absolute discharge. (Katie Breen/CBC)

In May, he walked onto the North Spur site to take part in a ceremony along with a small group of protesters, breaking an injunction preventing people from trespassing onto any part of the Muskrat Falls construction site.

He refused to sign an undertaking during proceedings for that charge and was taken into custody.

As part of his defence, Davis, who represented himself, challenged the validity of the injunction itself.

Justice George Murphy dismissed that effort Friday.

Nalcor had been looking for a two-year suspended sentence.

Melissa Best

Melissa Best, a Mud Lake resident, broke the injunction in August as the final transformer was being delivered to the Muskrat Falls site.

Nalcor dropped the civil contempt of court charge against her.

Nalcor dropped its civil charge against Best. (Katie Breen/CBC)

"According to their letter that they sent me, that they presented to the courts … I had done nothing lawfully wrong … When I clearly did," she said.

"This has just given me a whole lot of energy to fight further and fight stronger and to be a little bit more cautious of my fight."

Nalcor's lawyer in the cases couldn't be reached for comment.

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