Inmate Says Prison Spied on His Legal Chats

     VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Canadian officials illegally intercepted dozens of jailhouse phone conversations between a former Hell’s Angel and his lawyers, the man claims in Federal Court.
     Ronaldo Lising says the abuse occurred while he was serving a nearly 12-year sentence for contempt and drug and firearms offenses at the Mission Institution, a medium-security federal prison.
     In spring 2011, prison officials repeatedly placed Lising in involuntary segregation because of perceived threats to his safety, according to his complaint in Federal Court.
     On one occasion that spurred the segregation, Lising allegedly drank “tainted orange juice” from a common refrigerator.
     Lising says Mission placed him in segregation again in July 2011 and commenced procedures to transfer him to the Kent Institution, a maximum-security facility.
     As a basis for this involuntary transfer, the prison allegedly included information that it had intercepted from telephone calls that Lising made to his wife, Angela Lising, in June.
     When Angela Lising requested information about the intercepted calls, the prison gave her a CD containing 555 telephone calls between her husband and the outside that occurred between April 1 and June 14, 2011.
     “85 of the 555 intercepts recorded calls that Mr. Lising had made to his lawyers Donna Turko, Greg DelBigio and Martin Peters,” according to the complaint.
     Lising says the prison knew he had retained these lawyers, and that his phone card identified their relationship.
     “Further, Greg DelBigio during his recorded calls with Mr. Lising specifically stated at the outset of the calls that these were legal calls and that he is a lawyer acting pursuant to a retainer,” according to the complaint.
     Lising says he was never notified of the interceptions as required by Canada’s Criminal Code, and that the government did not have judicial authorization to intercept the phone calls.
     Such authorization is granted only if a judge “is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds that the solicitor has been or is about to become a party to an offence,” the complaint states.
     Lising demands general damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $425,000 from Her Majesty the Queen. He is represented by Martin Peters in Vancouver.
     The Vancouver Sun reported in May 2012 that Lising won day parole and has pledged to resign from the Hell’s Angels.

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