Read from the bottom up
Friday, Sept. 20, 1996
Motions filed by FFJ attorneys in tribal court
Some exerpts from the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette
The tables appeared to have turned Friday in tribal court as the judge and
the defense attorneys searched for probable cause for charges filed against
...Because the tribal courtroom is so small, FFJ attorneys asked Judge Gurski
to move further prroceedings to a larger courtroom, the move would allow
tribal members who wanted to view the proceedings access, and would allow
ailing tribal members and others who sat elbow-to-elbow in the tiny courtroom
Friday to be comfortable and safe.
It would also ensure the proceedings took place in the open.
...Gurski said he would try to find larger quarters for any other proceedings.
While some frustrated FFJ members wanted to view proceedings, two others,
Fred Dakota and Ricky Geroux, didn't accept subpoenas, Houghton County sheriff
Butkovich attempted to serve.
Fred Dakota ordered his security guards to escort Sheriff Butkovich off
the reservation and to keep him off his property to avoid being served with
the subpoens. Richard (Ricky) Geroux hid in his house and did not answer
his door, peeking out his window to avoid being served with his subpoena.
FFJ Attorney Milton Rosenburg asked the pair be served by tribal police.
the motion was granted.
FFJ attorneys were granted another motion in being able to view the tribal
FFJ Attorney Mark Wisti made a motion to dismiss the charges against FFJ
due to lack of probable cause. He said the prosection never supplied to
him any names of any witnesses nor any video tapes it may have, as per requested
in a verbal motion made in tribal court last month. He was only supplied
with a 111 page police report, which they contend did not contain any probable
cause for any arrest.
Judge Gurski asked MacGregor how the defense could prepare an adequate defense,
if the prosection didn't turn over its evidence to the defenants. MacGregor
repiled that any witness are in the police report.
"And do you have anything else?" Gurski asked again, to which
MacGregor said he has videotape, but dosen't intent to use. "Police
reports are all the physical evidence I have and intend to use," said
MacGregor. FFJ Attorney Wisti said "He might" [use the videotapes
for his defense].
When asked why didn't the prosection turn over all the evidence to the defense,
MagGregor replied that "he wasn't ordered to." Gurski decided
to defer judgement until he could listen to the tapes of last months hearing
to determine exactly what the prosection was asked to provide to the defense.
"It's probable cause, not beyond a reasonable doubt," MacGregor
said of the police report.
"Not mere speculation or suspicion?" Gurski asked. "Have
you taken any statements from witnesses?"
The prosectur said no.
The Judge cited Indian Civil Rights Act, saying it is a violation of people's
rights to issue warrants without probable cause and to deny a person a speedy
trial. Gurski told MacGregor the first step is to establish probable cause.
The second is to back it up. Gurski asked the prosection " if he knew
of any jurisdiction that did not have to produce probable cause before issuing
MacGregor said "He did not know of any."
Gurski said "I think the prosection has had plenty of time to produce."
[the evidence] Adding that the prosecution's action could be preceived
as lacking cooperation with the defense.
FFJ Attorney Wisti said this is the time to "put up or shut up."
FFJ Attorney Clark argued the majority of the defendants, arrested and arraigned
, had their rights to a speedy trial violated. He said it was up to the
prosecution to push the matter to trial.
"There's no way at this late date to mount an adequate defense. The
trail has gone cold," Clark said.
MacGregor regarded the right to a speedy trial as being more important if
people were in jail. He said the court needs to consider what hindered the
tribe's ability to bring suit: chief and assoc. judges disqualified themselves....
Gurski said he will take a motion for dismissal because the defendants had
not gotten a speedy trial under advisement and will issue a written opinion.
Click Here to see the briefs filed on FFJ's behalf
in regarding Mark Stevens actions.
On September 20, 1996 FFJ's attorney's will be tribal court to proceed with
the dismissal charges of the bogus arrests that happened to FFJ members in
Aug. 1995. Everyone please come and support this action at 9:30 am on Friday
Sept. 20, 1996 at the tribal court house on US-41 in Baraga.
Fred Dakota is saying that FFj didn't turn over all the records to the federal
marshalls and that the mystery paper that would clear him of all these federal
charges is 'suprise'
It is no suprise to FFJ that Dakota is claiming that the mysterious
paper wasn't there, how could a paper that never existed be turned over to
the federal marshalls?
Mark Stevens, Dakota's attorney, filed papers in federal court requesting
that FFJ show cause why they haven't turned over all the documents. Stevens
is also requesting that FFJ turn over to the court a list of all the members
of the group Fight For Justice. Also filed were papers requesting that the
court reverse it's decision on returning all the files and computers that
FFJ turned over to the federal marshalls back to FFJ and instead be returned
To see copies affidavits
written by 3 former KBIC tribal police members for tribal court, on the treatment
of FFJ members by the police.
Press Release From FFJ
On Thursday August 16, 1996, Father John Hascall, O.F.M. Cap., confirmed with
the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police that a warrant was issued thru the Tribal Prosecutor
Gregor MacGregor III's office. The Tribal Police did not discuss the particulars
of the warrant with Fr. John, saying he could see the warrant when they arrest
him. Tribal Police hinted to Fr. John through the media that if he turned
himself in, it would avoid a confrontation on the hill. When Fr. John called
the Tribal Police they hastily read some of the counts. From other sources,
Fr. John has learned there are nine counts on the warrant which alleges that
Fr John committed conspiracy, injury to trees, cutting trees without a permit,
obstructing justice, trespassing, illegal entry of land; these are the only
charges that Fr. John can find out about.
Fight For Justice wants to emphasize that Fr. John Hascall has in no way conspired
with Fight For Justice in any way in the take over of the Tribal Center building
or any of the subsequent actions of Fight For Justice. Fr. John Hascall has
only provided needed spiritual advice and sanctuary of the Roman Catholic
Church to individuals fighting for their basic human civil rights.
Fr. John Hascall is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie band of Chippewa Indians.
He has stated that, "sanctuary is a right, not a privilege and that it
is his duty as a priest to provide the protection under a law older than most
others. I always stand for people and justice. I'm always going to be there.
It's the teaching of the Church."
Fr. John has also stated that, "the bond provisions are a violation of
the Religious Freedom Act." Members of Fight For Justice who have been
arrested have been extorted by excessive high cash bonds, (whereas Tribal
Chairman Fred Dakota's grandson & nephew of Chief Tribal Judge Brad Dakota,
is released on a personal recognizance bond for Grand larceny) and forbidden
to attend mass and Native American spiritual ceremonies, which is also a violation
of the Native American Religious Freedom Act. One such individual is Judy
Smith, Great Granddaughter of Chief Sitting Bull of the Sioux Nation and a
Keweenaw Bay tribal member. Judy has been sitting in Marquette Co. jail since
August 11, 1996 because she will not agree to the provisions of the bond forbidding
her from attending church and spiritual ceremonies.
Fr. John said, "many of his parishioners are afraid to come to mass and
attend native ceremonies fearing they will be fired from their tribal jobs."
Fight For Justice would like to thank Fr. John and the Church for not caving
into pressure from the bogus tribal council and the tribal chairman, who is
presently awaiting trial for federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and
the taking of illegal kickbacks, in offering sanctuary to individuals who
are fighting the corrupt tribal government of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
The tribal government is being aided in carrying out the atrocities against
members of the tribal community by a non-Indian Public Relations Specialist,
Rich Rossway , a non-Indian Judge, Douglas B. Gurski and also a non-Indian
tribal prosecutors office issuing trumped up charges for political reasons.
To protest the housing of political prisoners, call Marquette county jail
Warrant issued for Father John Hascall
The KBIC tribal prosecutor Gregor MacGregor has issued a warrant for the arrest
of Roman Catholic Priest Father John Hascall, Fr. John is a member of the
Sault Ste. Marie band of Ojibwa Indians.
The warrant consists of nine counts. The counts include conspiracy to injury
trees, conspiracy of cutting trees without a permit, illegal entry of land,
The KBIC tribal prosecutor Gregor MacGregor said he wouldn't release details
of the warrant until Hascall is served with it.
MacGregor said the tribal police had no obligation to tell Fr. John Hascall
Ex-TV 6 employee and now KBIC tribal Public Relations man, Rich Rossway said
he wanted to talk with Bradley Dakota and MacGregor about the warrant. "We
don't want this to be tried in public," he said.
"The charges stem form the his (Fr. John')s full knowledge and orchestration
leading up to and including the events of August 22," Rossway said.
The charges are the result of Fr. John providing sanctuary to Fight For Justice
members after the take over of the tribal center building. the church, The
Most Holy Name of Jesus Church is located next to the tribal center building.
"The church just happens to be near the center. Sanctuary is a right,
not a privilege," Hascall said. He explained it was his duty as a priest
to provide the protection under a law older than most others. He pointed out
dictionaries define "sanctuary" as a holy place and as a place of
refuge or protection from arrest.
"I always stand for people and justice. I'm always going to be there.
It's the teaching of the church," Hascall said. "The main thing
is I've never been politically involved up here."
The gentle man many call "Padre" said many issues surrounding the
controversy arose in his mind, in light of the warrant being issued for his
Of primary concern is the bond provision banning arraigned FFJ members from
He sees the bond provision as a violation of the Religious Freedom Act, which
Hascall said is very strong, bigger than tribal law, covering the whole world.
Hascall said the tribe's religious practices are sacred to them. The practices
include swear lodges, pipe ceremonies and talking circles, all of which are
traditional ways to pray.
Hascall also sees his necessary confinement on the site to avoid arrest as
a violation of the act. Basically, the Fr. John cannot step off the site without
Because of the warrant, not only has Fr. John canceled all sick calls to hospitals
and homes, but also all the masses he was scheduled to say at Zeba, Watersmeet
Hascall said many of his parishioners are afraid to come to mass fearing they
will be fired from their tribal jobs.
Provincial Dan Fox from Detroit said the Capuchin Franciscans support their
brother in his pursuit of justice.
Judge makes his decision.
Federal Judge Greeley made his decision on the records being held on the tribal
center grounds. The records will be moved form the tribal center grounds to
a location in Marquette and held in federal custody.
Fred Dakota's attorney Mark Stevens will be required to present the federal
court with a list of documents needed and the court will make copies of the
After the copies of requested documents are made that are pertinent to the
case all the records will be returned to the Fight For Justice at the tribal