Friday, January 8, 2010

Suspect in custody in EnCana bombings

You may recall that in 2008 and 2009 some over-zealous environmentalists planted bombs on EnCana pipelines in BC. Well, the RCMP now has a suspect in custody. If it's the right guy, it's someone who's no stranger to this sort of thing:

Wiebo Ludwig, an Alberta activist convicted of bombing oil and gas wells in the 1990s, has been arrested and will be charged with extortion in connection with more recent bombings at EnCana pipelines in northeastern B.C., according to his Edmonton lawyer.

"I can advise you that I've been told by the RCMP that Rev. Ludwig is in custody under arrest, and he is to be charged with one count of extortion," Paul Moreau told CBC News on Friday.

Moreau expected the charge to be laid immediately when he spoke to CBC News at midday on Friday but the RCMP have not announced that any charges have been laid.

Ludwig was arrested at a hotel in Grande Prairie, Alta., Friday morning after going there voluntarily to meet with a senior RCMP officer, Moreau said.

Source. I expect that if he's convicted of this he'll be going away for a lot longer than the 28 month sentence he received for his previous activities. Despite that, I also expect that he won't be the last; people are getting angrier and angrier, and when no legitimate forms of redress appear to be available, some people will seek other means.

Update: the latest version of the article says he's not being charged yet:

No charges have been laid against Wiebo Ludwig, an Alberta activist convicted of bombing oil and gas wells in the 1990s who was arrested Friday in connection with recent bombings at EnCana pipelines in northeastern B.C.

"That's going to be a wait-and-see situation," said Sgt. Tim Shields, media relations for the RCMP in B.C. "Charges have not been approved by Crown counsel in British Columbia and ultimately, they are the ones who have to make that decision as to whether or not charges are going to be approved."

RCMP have not named the man they arrested early Friday in connection with the bombings.

All they said is that they arrested a man in his 50s or 60s and were conducting a large search of an Alberta farm near Hythe, Alta., about 400 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, near the B.C.-Alberta border.

Earlier in the day, Ludwig's lawyer, Paul Moreau, confirmed his client was in custody and said he expected Ludwig would be charged with extortion.

Curiouser and curiouser. In this EnMasse thread Legless_Marine points out something interesting:
Wiebo couldn't light a fart on fire without the RCMP knowing.

My guess is that the actual bomber reached out the Wiebo, and Weibo refused to share the information with the RCMP. Now they're going to turn his life upside down in order to make him more cooperative.
Makes a lot of sense, actually; perhaps there isn't sufficient evidence that Ludwig was actually involved. He may well have had nothing to do with these bombings, but the police would nevertheless like to talk to him, I'm sure, and they probably have him in mind as a convenient scapegoat if they can't find anyone else to blame...

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