Landlord tours home once declared a Freeman-on-the-Land 'embassy'
Published Monday, September 30, 2013 6:43PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 30, 2013 10:18PM EDT
An Alberta retiree has regained access to a home she unknowingly rented to a “Freeman-on-the-Land,” who turned the property into an “embassy” and refused to pay full rent.
Andreas Pirelli was removed from the duplex after a judge ordered him to leave and pay the rent and utilities owed to Rebekah Caverhill, the property’s owner.
Caverhill said she rented the place to Pirelli for free for three months in exchange for him doing some home renovations.
But Pirelli changed the locks and declared the property a sovereign embassy, sent her a $26,000 bill for his renovation work, and put a lien on the house.
On Monday, Caverhill toured her home with a CTV Calgary reporter. It was filled with office furniture, about a dozen computers with their hard-drives removed by police, a copy of a search warrant, Freeman-on-the-Land literature and dirty clothes.
“It’s a war room,” said Caverhill. “It’s making war on Canada.”
Pirelli was arrested on Friday on a Canada-wide warrant. In 2007, he was charged for allegedly pushing a landlady down a flight of stairs in Montreal. An arrest warrant was issued in May 2010, when he failed to show up during his trial.
Calgary officials said he will be transported back to Quebec, and he could also face charges in Alberta.
“Whether that be through one tool or another, it’s important that they face the consequence for the actions that have harmed others and violated the laws,” Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhullar said Monday.
Followers of the Freeman-on-the-Land movement believe citizens only have to follow a nation’s laws if they want to, and use pseudo-legalistic maneuvers in an attempt to avoid paying taxes, drive without a licence, or pay spousal support.
In 2012, an Alberta judge delivered a 185-page ruling on a Freeman-on-the-Land case and took aim at the movement as a whole, calling those who promote its ideas “parasites who must be stopped.”
Justice John Rooke called Freemen-on-the-Land members who tie up the courts “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument litigants,” who “disrupt court operations and … attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.”
Pirelli has refused CTV News’ requests for comment.
With a report from CTV Calgary