Montreal man charged with inciting hatred and uttering threats released on bail

By on February 3, 2017


MONTREAL—A Montreal man facing charges of uttering threats online and inciting hatred was released on bail Thursday following a psycho-social evaluation.

Antonio Padula, 45, appeared calm during a brief appearance in a Montreal courtroom.

He was released on $1,500 bail and must respect various conditions, including seeing his doctor and not going online.

The case returns to court March 9.

He was arrested Tuesday night at his residence in Kirkland, a suburb on Montreal’s west island.

On Wednesday, he was charged with inciting hate against an identifiable group and uttering or transmitting a threat to cause death or bodily harm.

Padula was granted bail after a psycho-social evaluation, his lawyer said.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) the Crown objected to his release, and today he was met by a criminologist from (the Philippe-Pinel Institute) and he was released on bail,” Anna Levin said outside the courtroom.

Levin said Padula, who had appeared shaken on Wednesday at having to spend a night in jail, was feeling more calm.

“This is someone who doesn’t have a criminal record, so, clearly it can be traumatizing to have to spend a night in jail,” she said.

The charge of public incitement of hatred carries a maximum of two years in prison, while uttering threats has a maximum five-year sentence.

The charges filed in court state the alleged comments and threats were made sometime on Tuesday.

Montreal police said Quebec provincial police told them about the comments.

There was a similar arrest on Wednesday night in Mirabel, north of Montreal, where a 27-year-old man was taken into custody in connection with hateful remarks allegedly made on social media.

Provincial police Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said the unidentified man was questioned and released on a promise to appear at a later date.

Both arrests came days after a gunman killed six men and wounded several others as they attended prayer at a Quebec City mosque.

Authorities have said they are dealing with more hate-related complaints since Sunday’s mass killing.