WINNIPEG — They call themselves “Freemen of the Land”. They drive without a drivers licence and don’t pay taxes.
Followers say they’re independent of the government and don’t believe the laws apply to them.
Dean Clifford, is one of the groups leaders. This summer the Winnipeg man was convicted of 12 out of 14 charges, including possession of drugs and guns. But the judge can’t sentence him until he is interviewed by a probation officer, something Clifford has refused. In fact, he even sent the judge emails demanding $50,000 for his time in court.
Monday, the judge called a special hearing telling Clifford to stop playing games
“This is not a game, this is my life, my life,” said Clifford outside of court, “he calls it a game because I’m willing to stand up for myself and try and exercise my rights.”
Justice Chris Martin scolded Clifford for 15 minutes telling him he’s living in a “fantasy land” saying “this non-sense has got to stop today…I have shown respect to you and I am not getting it in return.”
“I don’t care what he says, good for him,” said Clifford, “I’m either a slave or I’m not they’re either going to throw me in jail or they’re not.”
Clifford has fought nearly 40 charges, many for driving without a licence, and has already spent 16 months in jail before getting bail earlier this year.
RCMP in Manitoba have kept a close eye on the group in the past and say, “we do not currently have active investigations, but we remain aware of this group’s existence, and the challenges that it sometimes present.”
Clifford says he’s taking his fight for freedom to the Supreme Court.
“I’ve got a massive battle ahead of me because I’m tired of this,” said Clifford, “I want to be left alone.”
Once Clifford does his pre-sentence interview the judge can then sentence him. That’s expected to happen on November 5th.