Accused objects as judge forces not guilty plea in Princeton

Accused objects as judge forces not guilty plea in Princeton

Drama continues in Gatzky case

A provincial circuit court judge had to raise her voice to be heard as she entered a not guilty plea on behalf of an accused who refused to make a plea for himself, in Princeton court Thursday.

Karl Gatzky, a Surrey man who is the central figure in a longstanding feud in the village of Coalmont, repeatedly exclaimed “I object” as Judge Michelle Daneliuk directed the clerk to enter the plea.

“You can’t do that,” he said. “I’m not making a plea. I haven’t got counsel.”

Daneliuk responded: “I have just made it for you.”

Gatzky was appearing by telephone.

He is charged with breaching a probation order in July 2017, under conditions that were set when he was found guilty of uttering death threats.

The guilty verdict was then set aside, and Gatzky was granted several consecutive adjournments to allow him to retain a lawyer on latter charge.

He admitted to receiving information from the Crown before Thursday’s court date but said: “I haven’t had time to open it.”

Daneliuk directed Gatzky to contact the judicial case manager in Penticton to arrange a trial date.

“Between now and then you will have plenty of time to hire a lawyer,” she said.