one year after his arrest by federal marshals, joel bitar is sentenced to twenty months in jail

by Tim Phillips

In October 2012, Canadian authorities requested Joel Bitar’s extradition from the U.S. for his alleged involvement in property destruction during the June 2010 G20 protests in Toronto. On February 14, 2013, federal marshals arrested Bitar in New York. Six days after his arrest, he was released from custody on $500,000 bail and transferred to house arrest, on the condition that he wear an electronic monitoring device.

On April 16, Bitar surrendered to Toronto police. Today Bitar, who had no prior criminal record, was sentenced to 20 months in jail. He admitted joining the black bloc and shattering the rear window of a squad car during the G20 protests, but said he didn’t know at the time that there was an officer inside. According to a Toronto Sun article,

Bitar said he was a university student in New York majoring in economics and planning to became a Wall St. tycoon when major events changed his goals. When the large-scale perpetrators of the global financial crisis received federal bailouts while “millions lost their homes,” Bitar said he became an activist for economic reform.

Another G20 protester, Kevin Chianella, was also sentenced today. He received two years in prison. There’s only one remaining 2010 G20 protester from the U.S. whose criminal case has yet to resolve.

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