Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dziekanski killing: criminal charges?

The BC government shifts comfortably in its seat:

November 2007:

The e-mail written by [RCMP deputy commissioner for the Pacific region Gary] Bass on Nov. 24 indicates that [BC Premier Gordon] Campbell was "highly complimentary" of the police force despite the fact Dziekanski's death was still under investigation.

The e-mail was addressed to Elliott and Bill Sweeney, an RCMP deputy commissioner and special adviser to the commissioner.

"I just ran into our premier at the airport and we had a great 20-minute discussion on this issue generally.… He was highly complimentary of the force, disappointed over the degree of criticism and wants to support the members involved somehow," Bass wrote.

"He [Campbell] asked me to think about what he could do in this regard.… He supports the continued use of Taser and any other tools which support and protect our members.

December 2008:

B.C.’s attorney general has claimed that four RCMP members who used a taser on Robert Dziekanski can still be held accountable, even though they won’t be charged with criminal wrongdoing.

The four Richmond RCMP officers who appear in this video will not be charged in the October 17, 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski.

Wally Oppal said in a phone interview with the Straight that the officers will now be able to testify before the Braidwood Commission of Inquiry, which has a mandate to provide the public with a complete record of events surrounding Dziekanski’s death.

“I know it’s difficult to understand all of this because I know people think, ‘Geez, we saw that on the video and surely somebody must be held accountable’,” Oppal said, “but accountability can be achieved outside a criminal courtroom and in the process of the inquiry.”

April 13, 2009:

British Columbia's attorney general suggested Monday that criminal charges could be laid against the four Mounties involved in the Taser-related death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski.

Last December, Crown prosecutors decided that RCMP Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson, Const. Kwesi Millington, Const. Bill Bentley and Const. Gerry Rundel wouldn't face criminal charges, although the final report from the Braidwood inquiry looking into Dziekanski's death could include findings of misconduct.

But in an interview, Wally Oppal told the CBC's Terry Milewski, "Well, nothing is final, Terry, particularly where we're getting more and more evidence being elicited on a daily basis. So it may well be, at the end of the day, the people in the Criminal Justice Branch could re-examine this."

Oppal made the comments before the inquiry has concluded.

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