Abdusselam (Mocha) Bezirgan, currently at the helm of Media Bezirgan, achieved a significant legal victory through self-representation against Transport Canada.
IIIn a significant legal victory, Abdusselam (Mocha) Bezirgan successfully overturned a $1500 fine levied by Transport Canada during his time at Rebel News.
Transport Canada alleged he breached subsection 103.02(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations by not presenting the drone for inspection when requested.
Representing himself, Bezirgan challenged the penalty linked to an incident in Montreal, QC, in April 2021, where he was accused of violating drone regulations.
Bezirgan announced his victory on X:
"The prosecutor presented multiple witnesses, including an expert, and submitted hundreds of pages of disclosures and arguments. My only witness was myself, and my sole argument was a clear and straightforward truth contained in a single page."
The Pilot-Operator Distinction:
Bezirgan's primary defense was rooted in the legal distinction between a "pilot" and an "operator." Throughout the proceedings, he argued that his role as the pilot of the drone did not equate to being its operator under the law. This distinction was crucial, as the CARs define an operator as someone with legal possession or control over an aircraft, typically an owner or lessee.
Bezirgan's argument emphasized that merely operating the drone during a flight did not extend to legal responsibilities or control beyond the flight's duration.
Challenging the Inspection Demand:
A pivotal part of Bezirgan's argument addressed the reasonableness of Transport Canada's inspection demand. He pointed out that the request was made several hours after the drone had been operated, at which time he no longer had possession of the drone.
This timing issue was a key point in his defense, highlighting the impracticality of complying with the demand and questioning its validity given his role at the time.
In a detailed ruling, the judge highlighted a crucial distinction in the interpretation of "operator," stating, "The term 'operator' is defined not in terms of operation but in terms of possession."
This interpretation was key in differentiating between someone who physically operates a drone and someone who legally possesses it.
Further elaborating, the judge noted, "The possession of an aircraft by a pilot... is not at all like the possession enjoyed by an owner or lessee. The pilot merely has temporary command of the aircraft on a particular flight, a status which ceases at the end of the flight." This distinction was pivotal in Bezirgan's case, as it clarified his role at the time of the incident.
You can read the ruling here:
Bezirgan's victory sets a significant precedent in the interpretation of aviation law, especially concerning the responsibilities and rights of drone operators. His successful self-representation in this complex case highlights the nuances of legal definitions and their practical implications in the rapidly evolving world of technology.