Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Braidwood Chronicles: the case of the missing emails

The Braidwood Inquiry resumed today, after a three-month hiatus brought on by the disclosure of an email from a high-ranking RCMP officer, Superintendent Dick Bent, that indicated that the Four Horseman who killed Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver Airport in 2007 had planned to use a Taser on the victim before even arriving at the airport. This flatly contradicts their own testimony earlier this year.

The salient bit of text:

Finally spoke to [Supt.] Wayne [Rideout] and he indicated that the members did not articulate that they saw the symptoms of excited delirium, but instead had discussed the response en route and decided that if he did not comply that they would go to CEW [conducted energy weapon].

The email was sent to RCMP Assistant Commissioner Al Macintyre. Rideout is claiming that the statement quoted above is inaccurate. For his part, while insisting on the over-all accuracy of his statements, Bent is willing to concede that he "could have misunderstood certain parts of" what Rideout told him at the time.

Although Bent claims that the investigation of Dziekanski's death was conducted as a criminal one, he admitted that the Four Horsemen somehow didn't receive the customary Charter cautions.

For his part, Macintyre testified that senior officers checked up on the Four Horsemen: "We wanted to make sure they knew senior management was concerned about their well being," he said--all very clubby and chummy, to be sure. Two further phone calls were made to ensure that the suffering officers were recovering nicely from their ordeal.

And this is where things get interesting:

The officer, who oversees all criminal operations in B.C. and has been a Mountie for more than 36 years, said some of his e-mails were not able to be recovered.

The gap included e-mails sent between Nov. 1 through 8, 2007.

"I have no explanation for that," Macintyre said, adding he got a new BlackBerry on Nov. 1, 2007.

He pointed out 3,546 of his e-mails were recovered.

Macintyre said RCMP e-mails are automatically stored but computer experts could not find the missing e-mails.

Emails, one might note, that were sent at a crucial time--two weeks after the death of Dziekanski when the RCMP was in full scramble mode. Somewhere the ghost of Rose Mary Woods is smiling.

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