Not any more

G20 protester granted bail

In Canada on August 12, 2010 at 20:32

By Linda Nguyen

TORONTO — A young Ontario woman accused of being part of a group of protesters who caused $250,000 in damages to Toronto storefronts and police cruisers during the G20 Summit in June was granted bail Thursday.

Kelly Rose Pflug-Back, 21, of Norwood, Ont., was released on $80,000 bond to her parents, Doug Back and Ursula Pflug.

Ontario Justice of the Peace Lynette Stethem ordered that Ms. Pflug-Back must live with her parents, obey any rules they set and be placed under house arrest unless in the direct company of a parent. She must also be available within 15 minutes to the police if she’s home.

She was also ordered to not contact any of the other suspected G20 protesters or members of an activist group she founded in Guelph, Ont., not possess any weapons or drugs and is forbidden to access the social networking site Facebook. Justice Stethem also prohibited the accused from organizing or participating in any protests and she can only be present with her fiance, Julian Icham, who is also charged with G20 crimes, in the company of her parents.

Ms. Pflug-Back faces a total of 13 criminal charges related to incidents on the weekend of June 26 and 27. These include eight counts of mischief over $5,000, one count of conspiracy, one count of wearing a disguise, one count of obstruction, one count of failure to comply with an undertaking and one count of intimidation of a justice official.

Originally only facing the mischief charges, Crown Attorney John Hely laid the additional, more serious charges in light of new evidence, which came out during the two-day bail hearing.

The Toronto police have still and video images of someone who looks like Ms. Pflug-Back smashing windows and destroying property at a number of downtown Toronto businesses, including an Urban Outfitters, Adidas store, McDonald’s restaurant and a CIBC bank branch.

It is also alleged that the University of Guelph student was responsible for damage caused to two police cars.

Ms. Pflug-Back, a well-known student activist in the Guelph area, appeared for the bail hearing Thursday in a green prison jumpsuit. She looked more frail and sickly than her last appearance before the downtown Toronto court on Monday.

Ms. Pflug-Back is alleged to be one of the organizers who used anarchist “Black Bloc” tactics, in which members dress in black with their faces concealed behind handkerchiefs to prevent police from knowing their identities.

The group has been blamed for torching police cruisers and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage.

The accuser’s parents sat in the front row of the courtroom Thursday with Mr. Icham and a handful of friends.

A temporary publication ban has been placed on evidence presented at the proceedings.

Her next court appearance will be 9 a.m. on Aug. 23.

Ms. Pflug-Back turned herself in to police in Peterborough, Ont., last month, hours after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

She had been out on $20,000 bail on other G20-related charges laid against her during the summit weekend.

Earlier this year, she was also charged with assault after an Olympic torchbearer was shoved during a run through Guelph.

None of the allegations against Ms. Pflug-Back have been proven in court.

Toronto police arrested more than 1,000 people during the two-day world leaders’ meeting, the largest ever mass arrests in Canada.

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