Jun. 27, 2002. 01:00 AM
Court hears pastor speak
Minister testifies in spanking case
By Cal Millar
ST. THOMAS, Ont. — The doctrines of a fundamentalist church were explored during a family court hearing into a case where a number of children were seized from a family for using corporal punishment.
A publicity ban imposed by Madam Justice Eleanor Schnall prevents The Toronto Star and other media from reporting details of the hearing.
Testimony was given by the pastor of the Church of God where the family attended, but the gag order doesn't allow the media to report his evidence or identify him until he finishes testifying.
Although details of the July 4, 2001, apprehension were reported by the news media outlets, a court-ordered ban prevents details from being made public.
The Toronto Star, National Post, Hamilton Spectator, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Canadian Press and London Free Press have filed an appeal to lift the publication ban.
A hearing in London tomorrow will hear arguments from media lawyers as to why the ban should be lifted. The lifting of the ban is also being supported by lawyers representing the parents of the children.
The case currently being heard at the historic County of Elgin building is an application by the children's aid society for a 12-month supervisory order to ensure the couple's seven children are protected.
The pastor is expected to wrap up his testimony today.