Constitutional arguments begin in Canadian polygamy case

A Canadian man found guilty of marrying two dozen women says he believed he was entitled to practice polygamy because he wasn't charged when police investigated the allegations in the 1990s.

Winston Blackmore appeared in British Columbia Supreme Court in Cranbrook this week. A judge is hearing arguments on whether Canada's polygamy laws infringe on his rights to freedom of religion and expression.

Blackmore is a leader of the community of Bountiful, British Columbia. Residents follow the teachings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

He was found guilty earlier this year of polygamy after the court heard he had married 24 women.

Blackmore says in an affidavit for the current court proceedings that he was detained in 1990, and later released without charges being laid.