Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First Nations leaders to be released from prison

First Nations leaders to be released from prison: Attorney-General
Canwest News Service Published: Friday, May 23, 2008

http://www. nationalpost. com:80/rss/story. html?id=535888

TORONTO -- Six First Nations leaders will be released from prison today after serving more than two months for ignoring a court order to allow a mining company to drill on their traditional territory, a spokesman for Ontario's Attorney General confirmed Friday.

Six members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation will be back home by this evening after a court granted a motion for a stay pending the appeal of their six-month sentence for contempt, said KI spokeswoman Susan Nanokeesic.

"We are so happy, it's overwhelming," Ms. Nanokeesic said. "This is good news."

The appeal is to be heard Wednesday in Toronto.

The jailing of the leaders in March for disobeying a court order allowing Platinex Inc. to conduct exploratory drilling has drawn harsh criticism from Canadian authors and activists.

Most recently Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty a letter decrying their incarceration as "appalling."

Earlier this week, Platinex announced it has launched a $70-million lawsuit against the province. The company said it has suffered "substantial wasted expenditures" because it has been unable to gain access to the land near Big Trout Lake in northern Ontario because of actions by KI.

Platinex claims the Ontario government failed in its duty to consult with KI and also failed to warn the company it would not enforce its mining claims.

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