Friday, October 19, 2007

 

Official climb-down begins + updates

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WATCHDOG TO RULE IF CHIEF WILL BE INVESTIGATED

CanWest News Service: Friday, October 19, 2007

VICTORIA - B.C.'s police watchdog is reviewing allegations against Victoria police Chief Paul Battershill to determine whether or not to order a police act investigation.

"I'm not going to jump to conclusions," said Police Complaint Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld. {Snip} ...

Police act investigations are not criminal investigations. Ryneveld has to determine if any of the allegations against Battershill amount to Police Act public trust defaults.

Under the B.C. Police Act code of professional conduct regulations, these defaults include abuse of authority, discreditable conduct, neglect of duty, deceit, corrupt practice and improper disclosure of information.

"If it's management style, it might not be a police act default at all," said Ryneveld. "People might not like the decisions you are entitled to make, but annoyance doesn't equate to a default."

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=0d506bcc-f8c6-4047-aebc-58722fd53517

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More secrecy ...

WATCHDOG ORDERS PROBE OF POLICE CHIEF

Commissioner refuses to discuss unspecified allegations against Paul Battershill


CanWest News Service - October 27, 2007

VICTORIA - B.C.'s police watchdog has ordered an investigation into allegations against Victoria police Chief Paul Battershill, who has been on administrative leave since Oct. 11.

Police Complaints Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld said in a news release Friday the RCMP will conduct an external Police Act investigation into unspecified allegations.

Reached by phone, Ryneveld refused to add anything to his statement.

"In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, no public comment beyond this statement will be made by my office regarding this matter," the news release said.

"For the same purpose, the RCMP, the mayor of the City of Victoria, the Victoria Police Board and the Victoria Police Department have been asked to refrain from any public comment." {Snip} ...

The chief and his wife, Brenda, put their new James Bay home up for sale on Monday. The house is listed at $795,000.

It's now up to the police board to decide if Battershill will remain on administrative leave, be suspended or be reinstated while the investigation proceeds.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=f852e2f5-81b0-4ce0-aec5-4341b1525ad8

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October 28, 2007:

RCMP will investigate allegations

Embattled Battershill facing probe in Victoria


Stuart Hunter,
The Province - Sunday, October 28, 2007

Allegations of misconduct against embattled Victoria police chief Paul Battershill will be investigated, says B.C.'s police watchdog.

Police complaint commissioner Dirk Ryneveld said Friday that RCMP in Vancouver will conduct an external Police Act probe into unspecified allegations.

Ryneveld, who made the statement via a news release, is not publicly commenting on the allegations against Battershill. {Snip} ...

"In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, no public comment beyond this statement will be made by my office regarding this matter," Ryneveld said in his release.

"For the same purpose, the RCMP, the mayor of the city of Victoria, the Victoria Police Board and the Victoria Police Department have been asked to refrain from any public comment."

Now in his eighth year as chief, Battershill has been told by his lawyer not to speak to the media. {Snip} ...

Victoria lawyer David Mulroney [failed BC Liberal candidate for Saanich-The Islands] filed several Freedom of Information requests with Victoria police in September on behalf of his client, who reports have named as local developer Gerald Hartwig.

Mulroney has received documents relating to the chief's expense accounts, employment contracts and employee dismissal and suspensions, but is still awaiting documents pertaining to employees dismissed without cause and to severance packages.

A law firm representing Battershill tried to block Mulroney's FOI requests, prompting an emergency police board meeting on Oct. 10.

The next day, Battershill was placed on administrative leave, which will be reviewed when Mayor Alan Lowe returns from a business trip to Thailand
on Nov. 3.

Police Act probes aren't criminal investigations but examine possible violations of public trust such as abuse of authority, discreditable conduct, deceit, neglect of duty, improper disclosure of information and corrupt practice.

shunter@png.canwest.com

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=d4754ec8-43e5-4452-b227-828c59620808

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Call me naive, but I have this tremendous confidence in a failed B.C. Liberal candidate and a developer. Sheesh. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
In reading the various online articles on this subject two things came to mind. First, the mainland media reported far less than the Victoria Times giving a different insight to what's going on. Secondly, in reading the Victoria article one could get the impression that this may have something to do with the Legislature Raids.
I say this because of the last default. Improper disclosure of information. If this is the charge it might lead one to think that the Liberal party is somehow involved and may be trying to silence the Chief, who led the investigation which ultimately led to the Raid. Just my humble thoughts.
 
Gary e you are wrong. The RCMP lead this raid not the Victoria PD. According to the court proceedings, a drug investigation by the Island District Drug Section of the RCMP lead to a spinoff investigation which lead to the raid on the legislature.

THe victoria police assisted the RCMP with the investigation into Dosanjh.

Jeez, Gary you should know full well that the Victoria PD cannot investigate one of their own!

Mulroney is the real story here. Who is the mystery client? Is it a former employee who was fired? This is what some media folks are saying.

Listen to CKNW's cutting edge where Baldrey states that their are "rogue" elements in the department that are not happy with Battershill.
 
i watched A channel news last night, they ran a stoy about the B and E at the law office in victoria.The pics sent to the news(from police) were very grainy and hard to make out.So when A channel put the pics up on the sceen they did not try to enhanse the photos they reduced the size by 2/3. all i'm saying here would it not be harder to identify the wrongdoers if you make a grainy photo smaller.
 
To clarify mystatement above. A joint investigation into drugs and organized crime by the RCMP and Victoria Police LED to the raid on the legislature.
Sorry I should have been more specific.
 
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After reviewing the comments coming in to this web-site, would it be fair to say that everyone seems to feel that the events surrounding Police Chief Paul Battershill this past week are somehow related to the raid on the B.C. Legislature?

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Not sure Mary.

But, I think it would be fair to say that our so-called fourth-estate is failing us miserably on this one too.
 
Re Dirk Ryneveld:

He is a former Deputy Regional Crown Counsel. Ie: he relied on cops to deliver his work product. Thus: he is unfit for service in a role of subjecting police conduct to impartial and objective scrutiny.

When 2 of the Stanley Park 6 animals (Vancouver cops), who kidnapped, intimidated and inflicted injurious battery of 3 innocent street persons (none were subject to lawful arrest), appealed their dismissals, Ryneveld upheld the continued service of their 4 fellow convicts, while allowing an appeal. Each of the 6 cops enjoyed a year long paid vacation, and none spent even 1 second in custody, let alone jail.
www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcpc/doc/2004/2004bcpc1/2004bcpc1.html
As in the Stanley Park 5 case, nearly 100% of Ryneveld's OPCC appeals are done on behalf of cops. While he routinely refuses to challenge perverse internal police findings, he allows cops saddled with such low penalties as one-day-without-pay to appeal. Then again, Ryneveld employees as one of his head "analysts" an ex RCMP member, Thomas Steenvoorden, who denied the mass killings by Serbs in Bosnia:
www.hartfordhwp.com/archives/62/092.html
 
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Hold on, Anonymous 2:53!

I asked around about Dirk Ryneveld and was told he's "incorruptible" and "as clean as white linen". Here are 2 items: 1) from Maclean's and reprinted in Canadian Bar Association's BarTalk and 2) from BBC:

1) BarTalk April 2002
Volume 14, Number 2

Update on BC's Ryneveld
by Ian Mather

Rows of newly labeled files line Dirk Ryneveld’s cramped office in The Hague. They contain gut-wrenching accounts of people raped and murdered by Serbian soldiers in the Balkans in the 1990s. As a senior trial lawyer at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Ryneveld, who is from British Columbia, will have to prove that the country’s former president, Slobodan Milosevic, was the mastermind behind atrocities committed in Kosovo.

Milosevic is the first head of state ever arraigned for war crimes. He is accused of being responsible for the murder of 900 Kosovo Albanians and the expulsion of 800,000 Kosovars from their homes in 1999. He also faces a separate trial on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide in Croatia in 1991 and in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995. These include the expulsion of more than 250,000 Croatians, and the massacre of over 7,000 Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995.

It will fall to Ryneveld, who was appointed in 1999, to prove that even though Milosevic did not personally take part in the killings, he ordered the mass murder of thousands of civilians across the region. Ryneveld plans to call more than 90 witnesses, and enter more than 1,000 exhibits, before the trial ends in August. But legal analysts say Milosevic could extend the trial by calling up to 1,000 witnesses of his own. “In my previous experience as a prosecutor I handled many gruesome murder cases,” Ryneveld said. “But here it’s just the overwhelming fact of seeing whole families wiped out, whole villages annihilated, and 12-to 15-year-old girls kept as sex slaves by soldiers and then sold to others for the next round of degradation.”

Upon his arrival in The Hague, the Victoria lawyer quickly made his mark, successfully prosecuting a landmark case in international law in which three Bosnian Serb soldiers accused of the mass rape of Muslim women in Foca in southeastern Bosnia in 1992 were found guilty. It was the first case in which sexual enslavement had been found to be a war crime; on Oct. 1 the men were convicted and sentenced to between 12 and 28 years in prison. {Snip} ...

Read the full story at:
http://www.cba.org/bc/CBA_Publications/bartalk_04_02/guest_mather.aspx

Another report on Dirk Ryneveld:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1819728.stm

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Mary: if Ryneveld believed in self-hagiographic accounts passed to the CBA, he wouldn't have employed Thomas Steenvoorden as an OPCC Analyst, after that retired RCMP-Saskatchewan cop, denied that accusations against Serbs were substantiable. Why did he employ a denier?

As for his work at The Hague Tribunal, Ryneveld had no role in directing the gathering of evidence or setting the indictments. These were done by Richard Johnstone, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal. I have yet to find a single document with Ryneveld's name on it. As for the Tribunal work at a novel approach to criminalizing leaders based on "command responsibility," Ryneveld has hardly applied that to BC police. When Jamie Graham ran Vancouver Police, Ryneveld refused further review on at least 8 complaints against Graham.

Only on rare occasions, has one of his ex-cop "analysts" questioned cop spin. However, they ALWAYS question Discipline Authority penalties against cops. Under Ryneveld, the OPCC is effectively run by cops and for cops. When Ryneveld was a Deputy Regional Prosecutor, his work product depended on a leap of faith in cop testimony. However, field studies of police work, made by Ricard Ericson and others, reveal both systemic deceit, and a a general void of public purpose, inherent to police occupation culture. Ericson found that private law codes - silence, loyalty and retaliation - are generally used as operational principles by police, in usurpation of the rule of law.

Few are aware that the work product of the average Canadian cop yields a paltry 1 conviction per unit per month, and 1 incarceration per unit per year. In my view, police presence has a negative effect on public safety. As a paid agent for ensuring police accountability and public purpose, Ryneveld has proved less than worthless. This week's latest RCMP tazer kill, revealed yet again that under Ryneveld's sham oversight (yes the airport is under federal jurisdiction), cops taze rather than mess their hair through physical exertion.

I accessed the Vancouver Registry database to see if the OPCC has been sued. I paid the file fee and examined the case of one plaintiff, Theresa S, whose material is rambling and barely coherent. Mental infirmity is obvious. Notwithstanding same, Ryneveld directed contract attorney, Frank Falzon, to put the woman through a Settlement Hearing process. I do NOT exaggerate in saying that Falzon filed 6 inches of case and pleading material (the Small Claims file is 8 inches thick). When the OPCC had the case tossed, Ryneveld put the woman through a Payment Hearing process, even though she is on public assistance. My read of the materials, suggests that honest and forthright communication and a little compassion would have resolved the issue. That would be beneath Ryneveld, who is an elitist to the highest degree.

See "Indictment at The Hague" by Norman Cigar and Paul Williams.
 
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Many thanks, Anonymous 3:01 (3:01 AM, friend?? You're up way, way too late, aren't you?)

Here's what I got back, from further asking around:

This is from the Ottawa Citizen. Apparently Steenvoorden isn't the only one who has questions.

Have a look:

The Ottawa Citizen 29 August 2004 Bruce Garvey
Posted on 09/03/2004 5:37:50 AM PDT by Doctor13

Mr. Pritchard, who has produced more than a dozen documentaries on the Balkan and Afghan wars, said. . . .

"I was telephoned by an RCMP officer seconded to the Hague tribunal's investigative unit, a corporal named Tom Steenvoorden, who told me the total number of bodies they have recovered amounts to 5,080, which is a far cry from 200,000," he told the Citizen.

"I want someone like Peter Mansbridge or Ms. Arbour [Justice Louse Arbour, late of the Supreme Court of Canada, who presided over the Milosevic trial in the Hague] to tell me where the other 195,000 bodies are. This is a massacre that never happened."

Mr. Pritchard said he refused to co-operate with the Hague prosecutors, just as he had with representatives of Mr. Milosevic.

Other Canadians who have been named as potential defence witnesses include Citizen reporter David Pugliese and retired Maj.-Gen Lewis MacKenzie, who have both said they will refuse, and war correspondent and magazine publisher Scott Taylor, who has agreed to defend articles he wrote for the Citizen from Kosovo.

[. . . . ] Sgt. Honeybourn, a veteran of more than 30 years of police work, was a member of the first Canadian forensic specialist team that joined units from several western countries in the search for the alleged 200,000 buried victims.

Now he maintains that the Hague staff under Ms. Arbour was confused and incompetent.

[. . . . ] In the six weeks Sgt. Honeybourn spent digging up fetid graves in Kosovo during the sweltering summer of 1999, the Canadian team exhumed 86 bodies.

[. . . . He] regarded the mission, which cost Canada more than $1.2 million, as an investigative failure and "a waste of time." [. . . . ]


Of course Mary, go ahead [I had requested permission to post the foregoing. - BC Mary] - it confuses me too. God knows who to believe on this one...Steenvoorden was also a lead investigator on the oil for food scandal in Iraq it seems. Obviously our interlocutor has reasons for believing what he believes too, of course.


A good discussion. Thanks, all.


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The Victoria City police failed to do a proper police investigation of major crookedness inside the BC Attorney General's office at least twice, once in 2002 /2003 and again in 2005 /2006.
It all realtes to inside corruption and bulk water exports.
 
More on Ryneveld.

Mary,
After having given you the information you posted above (from the Ottawa Citizen) I made some more enquiries about Dirk Ryneveld.
Three points came out in the discussion:
1) Falzon is a good lawyer - but wouldn't necessarily be adverse to going through the motions (which is what I think anon above implies).
2) Ryneveld is, there's no way to say this politely and it's only an opinion of course, conservative (my informant used another term) and a bit of a stuffed shirt.
3) I asked if he would be 'in the pocket' of the people he's investigating and was told 'no' but that there is no doubt which side of the fence he's coming from.

Hope this helps.
 
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Anonymous 2:39:

You wrote: Victoria City police failed to do a proper police investigation of major crookedness inside the BC Attorney General's office at least twice, once in 2002 /2003 and again in 2005 /2006. It all relates to inside corruption and bulk water exports.


Could you provide a little more background on those two items?

Thanks, if you can.

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