2 Mohawks Convicted in 1990 Quebec Uprising

<i> from Reuters</i>

Two Mohawk Indians who played prominent roles in a 1990 native uprising were found guilty by a Quebec jury Wednesday on 29 charges, including aggravated assault and arms possession.

After more than six days of deliberations, the jury found Ronald Cross--better known by his alias Lasagna--guilty on 20 of the 40 charges laid against him by the Canadian province.

Gordon Lazore, nicknamed Noriega, was found guilty on nine of 16 charges, while the jury acquitted Roger Lazore of the 10 charges against him.


The charges stemmed from clashes within the Mohawk community during the 11-week uprising in the small resort town of Oka, 20 miles west of Montreal, which erupted when developers tried to extend a golf course onto Indian land.

Prosecutors charged that the three Mohawks acted as common criminals in assaulting other natives and vandalizing homes in the besieged area during the summer-long crisis.

A Quebec policeman was killed during a brief gun battle at the start of the uprising in July, but no one has been charged in his death.

More than 40 Mohawks were charged after surrendering to the Canadian army in September, but the Quebec government decided to try Cross, 34, and the Lazores separately.

Several natives testified at the trial that Cross and others had threatened and assaulted them during the crisis, which exacerbated tensions between militant Mohawks and traditional native leaders.

Lazore and Cross face up to 14 years in prison on the aggravated assault charges.

A single trial for 40 other natives facing lesser charges is scheduled to begin in Montreal next month.