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Giving the middle finger is a ‘God-given right,’ says Quebec judge

A Quebec court judge says Canadians have a “God-given” constitutional right to distract obnoxious neighbors.

Judge Dennis Galiatsatos made the comments in a February ruling acquitting a Montreal-area man of criminal harassment, adding that the fact that the man was arrested and prosecuted at all was a puzzling injustice.

Police arrested Neil Epstein in May 2021 after he flashed two middle fingers at a neighbor, Michael Nakake, who threatened him with a power tool.

Nakache, 34, claimed that Epstein harassed her and her family for months, but the judge concluded that Nakache’s family tried to weaponize the criminal justice system to get revenge for perceived slights on Epstein’s part.

The judge wrote that Naccache was lucky not to face charges for making the threats, adding that the man’s father, mother and brother were also lucky not to face charges for their actions.

Galiatsatos, in acquitting Epstein, wrote that he wished he could literally, not just figuratively, take the case out of court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 8, 2023.

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