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Anti-oilpatch activist Wiebo Ludwig released from custody in pipeline bombings case

Anti-oilpatch activist Wiebo Ludwig has been released from jail after being arrested in connection with pipeline bombings in British Columbia.

Ludwig’s lawyer, Paul Moreau, says the RCMP have not given any reasons for why they released Ludwig after taking him into custody Friday.

Moreau indicated at that time that his client would be charged with extorting the Calgary-based energy company, Encana, the target of the bombings.

He says no charges are pending now and he wonders what changed in the last 24 hours for the RCMP to change their minds.

Dozens of RCMP officers on Friday swept onto Ludwig’s Trickle Creek farm near Hythe in northwestern Alberta, near the B.C. boundary, and began combing through homes and outbuildings. Police said the search stemmed from six pipeline bombings targeting Encana in the Tomslake area of B.C. since October 2008.

“The search apparently still is ongoing,” Moreau said Saturday from Edmonton. “They have declined to explain, at least to me, why they are releasing him without charging him, and it’s going to make for some interesting questions for someone to ask the RCMP.”

Moreau said Ludwig was glad to be out of jail and was on his way home.

“He’s doing fine. He’s happy to be out. He’s happy to be going home. It was a difficult 24 hours for him. These cells aren’t the most comfortable places to spend time so he is happy to be going home.”

Ludwig was convicted a decade ago of bombing sour gas wells in northern Alberta and served two-thirds of a 28-month sentence. His friend, Richard Boonstra, who also lives on Trickle Creek farm with his family, served three weeks for the vandalism.

Moreau said Friday his client, a former pastor with the Christian Reformed Church, was “surprised and taken back” by his arrest. The lawyer pointed out Ludwig had actually written an open letter to the B.C. bomber last fall appealing for peace.

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