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Sask picks and chooses which lies it "believes"

It also picks and chooses which ban-breakers it charges

Chickenshit Saskatchewan Justice is at it again. They didn't have the courage to charge CBC and inJusticebusters with breaking the publication ban in the foster parent case. In fact, they assured CBC that no charges would be laid for naming the principles, victims and public officials in the "Scandal of the Century" program.

Jack Ramsay

The interview the local CBC did with Jack Ramsay's victim was very much in the public interest. Ramsay's own testimony, that he removed the minor's pants in the RCMP station while he was a constable in Northern Saskatchewan shows that he is guilty of sexual assault. The Native woman who went public did so in the public interest. The CBC broadcast it in the public interest. Justice in Saskatchewan is more interested in promoting lies than it is in freeing journalists to tell the truth. Are these charges just to delay other proceedings so they can continue to refuse to discuss vital matters because they are "before the courts?" Full coverage of the Ramsay trial


Guilty plea spared kin, 'grandpa' claims

An elderly man, Peter Klassen, says he was coaxed by his sons and his lawyer to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit so his family could go free, bringing an end to one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in Saskatchewan history.

In an interview with The StarPhoenix, the 66-year-old man spoke publicly for the first time about the ordeal that began in 1991 and led to his conviction on four counts of sexual assault and incest.

Peter Klassen says he will ask the federal justice minister to order a new trial to clear his name.

The man was the only person sent to jail for incest in the so-called foster child case from the early 1990s. The three foster children who made wild allegations - including stories of children being skinned and eaten - have each stepped forward and recanted their accusations, saying they were led into fabricating the stories by police and social workers.

"It's a relief now that these children have come forward. But it will never be the same," the man said Tuesday.

"Grandpa," as he was known by the children, recalled the shock, horror and confusion he felt when he says he was convinced to plead guilty to save his family. He alone went to jail among the 16 people who were accused of 60 counts of incest.

"I'm not very educated. I don't know the law. I just couldn't take it any more. There was too much pain. I felt I had to relieve the pain," the former house painter said.

The man's son, who was also accused, said he took part in convincing his father to plead guilty partly because his father had a previous conviction for sexual interference.

"We told him he wasn't making us look good. If we all stood trial, there was a likelihood we would fall, too. We told him he would be convicted anyway," the son said.

The elderly man's wife finally convinced him to take the deal. He said his lawyer called him a hero for taking the fall.

A judge called him a "dirty old man" as she ignored a plea bargain that had been arranged and doubled his recommended sentence to four years. The charges against most of the other accused people were dropped a short while later.

"I was stunned and angry," the man said.

He served every day of his four-year sentence because he refused to admit he had an incestuous relationship with the children, who he'd only met a few times. Most of the time was spent in Alberta's Bowden Institution. He said the prisoners treated him better than the guards and other workers at the institution.

"It was rough. I kept saying I was innocent, but they wanted me to discuss what had happened. I couldn't do it. Nothing had happened," he said. "So they wouldn't give me parole. I wouldn't take treatment for something I didn't do." The man was in the middle of his sentence when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He spent two days at her bedside under guard when she died Feb. 5, 1995. He was allowed to stay for her funeral before being shipped back to Bowden.

Now, the elderly man lives a quiet life. He avoids television and the newspapers. He, along with 12 other accused people, have launched a $10-million lawsuit against police and prosecutors.

Neither the accused people nor the children can be identified because of court orders.

The lawyer who represented the man did not return a phone call Tuesday.