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December 20, 1999
Gordon Wilson's Son Charged With Sex Abuse
A P Kamath
Judi Tyabji-Wilson, one of the most controversial politicians in British Columbia, was looking for a busy weekend.
Her three children from her former husband, Kim Sandana, were going to spend 10 days with her and her present husband, Education Minister Gordon Wilson, who is challenging Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh to be the premier.
She was also going to help her husband's campaign -- and see, among other things, if she could win him some support from the Indian Canadian community.
But on Friday, she got a letter from the British Columbia supreme court that she had been denied the visit, following a suit filed in court by Sandana, in which he alleged that Gordon Wilson's 23-year-old son, Mathew, had sexually molested one of the girls.
Mathew Wilson, a public relations man for the government, denied the allegation and retained a top libel lawyer, Lou Zivit. He is demanding a full retraction of the charges.
He also said Sandana has exaggerated two "innocent episodes" with the young girl to hurt the Wilson family.
Tyabji-Wilson, who has not seen her children in nearly six months, is going to court early this week to challenge the court order. She has said the charge has been "trumped up". She also said she was aware of the allegations, and had stayed away from the children hoping that the allegations would go away.
Tyabji, a member of the city council in Powell River, received a lot of bad press when her affair with Wilson was revealed about six years ago. Like her, Wilson was also married at the time. Both were active in the Liberal Party then. Wilson joined the New Democratic Party a few years ago.
Tyabji's former husband, a grocery store clerk, convinced the court six years ago to give him sole custody of the children, arguing that their mother had made politics her full-time career. The boy is 12 and the girls are nine and seven.
"This is tearing my kids up at Christmas," Tyabji-Wilson said in an interview. "It's trumped up and we have no option but to go public and fight it."
Sandana told reporters that he went to the police after one of the children complained of abuse by Mathew Wilson. He said there were two incidents, one in December last year and one this July. He has not said why he waited till last week to file a complaint. Wilson announced about a month ago that he was running for the top leadership of the party, and has begun making his campaign more vigorous.
Mathew Wilson says he is clear about the motive and emphasizes the case has been filed around election time. The NDP is meeting in February to elect its leader who will automatically become premier of British Columbia.
"They can protest their innocence all they like -- this is going to explode in their faces," Sandana told reporters.
Gordon Wilson said he was not worried about the allegations and the case having an impact on his political bid. He said he was worried for the three children.
"This is the most mean-spirited action their father could take," he said. Sandana hit back at his former wife calling her "nutty", adding, "My job is to protect the kids first and foremost."
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