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B.C. man jailed for refusing to halt blog

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Satinder Paul Singh Dhillon was sentenced earlier this month to 30 days jail time for continuing his refusal to take down blog posts from March and April 2010.
FOTOLIA

Satinder Paul Singh Dhillon was sentenced earlier this month to 30 days jail time for continuing his refusal to take down blog posts from March and April 2010. FOTOLIA

A local financial advisor has been sentenced to jail for refusing to take down blog posts that the B.C. Supreme Court said were “disparaging or defamatory” about the KPMG international auditing firm, and that suggested several judges had “improperly aligned themselves” with the company.

Satinder Paul Singh Dhillon was sentenced earlier this month to 30 days jail time for continuing his refusal to take down blog posts from March and April 2010.

The posts deal with the bankruptcy proceedings of Erwin Braich, to which Dhillon stood as a creditor for several million dollars, according to the court.

“The blog posts that you made or edited, and published, contained numerous statements that alleged or strongly implied that KPMG and several lawyers and other professionals associated with the bankruptcy were dishonest, corrupt, incompetent and unethical,” wrote Justice Heather Holmes.

“The statements also alleged or strongly implied that several of the judges who had roles in the bankruptcy proceedings improperly aligned themselves with KPMG, and took concerted and ill-motivated steps to protect KPMG’s interests in the bankruptcy proceedings.

A previous court document identified one post’s title: KPMG Stifles Freedom of Speech in Desperate Move. That post remains online today.

What exactly the other two posts, made in March 2010, said is not immediately clear. According to the court, the blog containing those posts was removed sometime before June 22 this year.

Dhillon submitted in court that he maintains the statements made in the posts were true and publishing them was merely an exercise of freedom of expression.

The court rejected that reasoning, however, as there was already a specific order from the courts for him to take down the posts, which were described by the court as “scurrilous attacks.”

The court added that Dhillon knew he should have filed and pursued an appeal through the court rather than act in defiance.

“When that failure was the subject of comment during the trial, you explained you had no confidence in the Court of Appeal to treat you fairly and impartially,” the judge wrote.

Asides from the jail term, Dhillon is also ordered to remove the posts from all publications within 24 hours of his release.

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