Wangaratta magistrate Ian Watkins was arrested last Friday during a civil hearing he was presiding over in the Wangaratta magistrates court.
From Alpine Regional News Facebook page
This is welcome news indeed, as the Magistrate has been arrested under our true Constitutional laws…for trying to uphold the corrupt political party fake laws. The fight for justice has begun!
Local Photographer Dezi Freeman initiated the arrest after directly challenging the authority of the magistrate due to breaches of State and Commonwealth law.
The public gallery was filled with supporters of Mr. Freeman who bore witness to the proceedings including certified Commonwealth Public Official Mr James Rech, who stood up in the court and reiterated Mr. Freeman’s statements.
“Magistrate Ian Watkins was told to stand down and I instructed the Policeman present in the court, Craig Robinson to execute the arrest who then failed to do so in an act of malfeasance of public office and negligence of duty” Mr. Rech said.
Mr. Freeman, a Photographer from Myrtleford has been fighting against an attempt to block the Community’s right of access to Mt Buffalo National Park along the Buffalo Creek road, Myrtleford.
Buffalo Creek recently attracted widespread national media attention due to continuous attacks on Mr. Freeman and his family which was reported by A Current Affair.
Self-represented in the case, Mr. Freeman has fought against local Lawyer Charles Morgan and VicBar Barrister Timothy Chalke (Castan Chambers 460 Lonsdale St. Melbourne.) for the past year in his bid to uphold the community’s access to Mt Buffalo.
“The lawyers are profiteering from working directly against the community’s interest. I would have thought their reputation would be more important to them than money” said Mr. Freeman.
“It’s ridiculous that I have been to court nine times now just for bushwalking. It’s an insult to our community and the tourism industry and a gross waste of taxpayers money to even debate our access along a road that has been used to access Mt Buffalo for over 100 years. There have been multiple procedural errors in this case and the course of justice has been perverted. Magistrates are not above the law and I will be holding them accountable for every last law broken and abuse of process that they commit unless they cease their relentless attacks upon me in this ridiculous, vexatious case”.
Commonwealth Public Official Mr. James Rech explained that the Supreme Court of Victoria has already set a landmark precedent in relation to such long-used roads and their status as public highways at common law.
“The Wangaratta magistrates court is attempting to contradict the Supreme court which it has no authority to do. It is clearly not a court of competent jurisdiction and has ignored overwhelming evidence presented by Mr. Freeman. The way this case has been handled and the treatment of Mr Freeman is disturbing to say the least.”
Mr. Rech says the case has been nullified by the arrest of the magistrate and the fact that he stood down as a result.
“Magistrate Watkins had no answer when directly challenged on Constitutional matters and grant of power”.
“He then attempted to railroad the process but was quickly shut down by Mr. Freeman who exercised his duty under the Constitution to make the arrest”.
Mr. Freeman has overwhelming community support in keeping the road open to the public, while Magistrate Watkins is expected to face charges of Misprision of Treason, as well as charges relating to fraud and perverting the course of justice as a result of his arrest.