Tuesday, November 25, 2008

 

Robin Mathews - in courtroom 65, Nov. 25

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Six lawyers and a gallery of four observers began the day in courtroom 65. Sparks flew, and disagreements ruled the morning. (I won't see the afternoon session). Mr. W.P. Riley for the Public Prosecution Services of Canada won the argument yesterday and was given "standing" in the court to argue the case for the RCMP's "privileged" documents.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett suggested (more than once through the morning) that a good way to begin the examination of about 302 documents the RCMP has claimed privilege upon (meaning that they remain sealed to the Defence and public) is to review the meaning of privilege - for the public interest, for solicitor client, for litigation and....

Defence argued that the documents should be identified by description, categorized as to type, and then argument could proceed about the meaning of the particular cases or case types. Defence is testy about the whole matter. For - to begin - they resisted giving Mr. Riley standing, insisting that the Special Crown Prosecutor had an obligation to conduct the argument for the RCMP since he always and exclusively dealt with their materials. But Defence lost that, and Berardino was not present at today's events, strangely since he is Prosecutor.

Defence is testy also because cooperation by the RCMP over a few years has been less than eager and helpful. In fact, Michael Bolton, for the Defence, reported that a huge number of documents were named privileged by the Special Crown Prosecutor and then when they were released, finally, there appeared no reason whatever for naming them privileged. In fact, he said of 4300 pages that were previously named privileged only 100 seemed to have any sort of material that might suggest that a claim of privilege could, seriously, be made.

Defence wants - because of past experience - to see lists, descriptions, an index. They were not about to be put by with assurances (even from the judge) that verbal descriptions might suffice.

In addition, we know that the RCMP responded to calls for materials and for disclosure in a way which often seemed almost openly obstructive. And the very presence of W.T. Wiley has an aspect to it which could also be seen by some to be RCMP obstruction. For he is truly, as he said himself, "a stranger" to the case. Undoubtedly, his lack of knowledge of the case will slow down some of the action. That of course was not intended. In addition, he made clear he may well not accept the code worked out already for designating documents.

At least a part of the afternoon will be taken up arguing whether relevance should be considered in looking at documents, meaning that the judge can say that many documents, perhaps, are not relevant in any way to the case though wanted privileged by RCMP and so do not have to take time being discussed. That will be worked out. But Kevin McCullough and Joseph Doyle for the Defence pointed out that if Mr. Riley has a hand deciding relevance then he will be stepping into the role of Prosecutor.

Matters will not go quickly, as was made clear by the morning, interrupted by one break for counsel to work to agreement about procedure. Defence alleges that questions they asked, the answers which would have sped matters today, were not answered by the Special Crown Prosecutor.

All of this takes place in the shadow of Paul Palanago's new book presenting a chilling picture of the RCMP from top to bottom. It takes place as the RCMP and the Crown cannot seem to take action in regard to the officers involved in the Robert Dziekanski killing - the event now more than a year past.

If British Columbians wonder at the role of the RCMP in the BC Rail Scandal and the investigations which preceded and followed the Search Warrant raids on B.C. legislature offices on December 28, 2003, perhaps British Columbians have a right to wonder ....

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Comments:
Are the pre-trial hearings going to now occur everyday, until these ridiculously delayed dislosure issues and ignored disclosure orders are finally dealt with?

As always, sharp observation and analysis by our "retired" scholar, trying single handedly to pick up the slack for a non-existent or worse - purposely misleading - BC media (or excuse for media).

As to particular points, Robin, as much as he calls it like it is, still, perhaps to protect against spurious but effective libel suits, is almost too polite and willing to be "fair" in his coverage - for example:

"In addition, we know that the RCMP responded to calls for materials and for disclosure in a way which often seemed almost openly obstructive. "

I would be sorely tempted to replace "seemed almost" with just three letters - WAS!

"And the very presence of W.T. Wiley has an aspect to it which could also be seen by some to be RCMP obstruction"

I not only could - but do see almost everything done by Mr. Special (often invisible), the RCMP, the Campbell Cabal, and likely the new impediment, Mr. Riley as obstruction of justice.

"Undoubtedly, his lack of knowledge of the case will slow down some of the action. That of course was not intended"

To say that slowing down the action, or more delay, was not intended, without saying "may not have been" intended is really a case of giving the benefit of doubt, writ LARGE!
 
The 304 documents, are incrimidating evidence/testamonies, that could be further exploited. Plus, identify those who participated, and the unsuspecting manufactured victims!
Can't have that now, can we!?!
 
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