You may have lead a life of crime and violence, but it takes a lot to turn against the people you once worked with. People who don’t mind killing you off or your family. It takes a lot of courage, and a lot needs to be put at stake, to become a witness against a criminal syndicate. That’s why we have something called as “Witness Protection Programs”.
But do they actually work?
Do they actually protect the witnesses? And more importantly, do they protect the witnesses’ families, who have nothing to do with crime. If the story of Noel Harder is anything to go by, it doesn’t really seem like it. He’s filed a suit against the RCMP of Canada, alleging that the organization is the epitome of government dishonesty.
Harder testified against several members of the Hells Angels.
His testimony has been pivotal in the prosecution of several members and associates of the club. His testimony form the basis of ‘Project Forseti’. Millions of dollars worth of cash, weapons, and drugs have been seized as part of the operation. The RCMP promised to protect him and his family and compensate them for the loss of their vehicles, home, business, and previous life.
However, now they’re wishing to go back on the arrangement.
His kids haven’t attended school since nearly two years in the fear of being discovered. Originally hailing from the Saskatoon area, his family has been relocated several times. And RCMP is now threatening him with “non-voluntary termination. Harder has avoided contact from everyone from his previous life. However, someone apparently found him some weeks ago, which is why his family was relocated yet again.
He feels like he has ruined his family’s life.
“I feel like hell, man. I’ve ruined their lives.”
“They’re tough, but they’re taking it real hard.”
“Not so much for myself, but for my family and what I’m putting them through.”
Harder said to CBC news in a phone interview from an undisclosed location.
Harder isn’t a straight arrow himself, but that doesn’t mean his family has to suffer for it like this.
He’s previously been convicted of drug trafficking. However, the role people like Harder play in the justice system is a vital one. Without people like them, the worst of the society can’t be brought down. Protecting them is like choosing the lesser of the two evils. If the government goes back on its promise like it’s doing with Harder, fewer people like him would come up to testify, which basically means more bad guys on the street!
This is why he’s justified to sue the government.
Harder’s suit claims,
“The many people who Harder built cases against were members of Motorcycle Clubs reputed for violence and worse. He was and is a marked man.”
Harder’s lawyer, Tony Merchant, added in a statement,
“Mr. Harder and his endangered family are only some of those who have found government dishonesty has devastating consequences for their lives.”
Harder just wants to leave all this behind.
He’s slated to testify in several more upcoming trials. He now lives in constant fear of being discovered. He doesn’t know when his family will be able to lead a normal life. He’s been diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
“We’re not safe anywhere in Canada,” Harder said. “So we need a big enough settlement to be able to actually leave Canada and go somewhere and restart a life.”