Tuesday, 9 June 2009

will the RCMP lies never stop?

Up, Down.

Update Monday June 15: BC Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman rejected those arguments, saying Braidwood does have jurisdiction, and fault-finding is within his mandate. The ruling means the inquiry can resume as scheduled this Friday with closing submissions. The officers can appeal the ruling, but their lawyers left court without commenting. (from News1130)

Update Friday June 12: A dozen lawyers filled the courtroom for the proceedings Friday. The justice presiding over the hearing, Arne Silverman, told the court he wants to hear all arguments Friday and would issue a ruling first thing Monday morning (from the Vancouver Sun). Case numbers: VA S094251, VA S094252, VA S094253, VA S094377 (from B.C. Supreme Court site).

The Wind in the Willows, WeaselAlice in Wonderland, Two Five & Seven Painting the Rosebush RedThe Wind in the Willows, WeaselPostscript: but you have to laugh because if you don't find a way to laugh it will drive you mad ... so today I began considering ... first, The Wind in the Willows, there are weasels and stoats and badgers in it eh? ... and indeed, it was fruitful, the enquiry led me to Weasel ... then I thought, what about the Mad Hatter's Tea Party? ... but I wanted to bring no disrespect to Thomas Braidwood and it is his tea party after all, hardly a mad hatter (though he sometimes appears a little dishevelled) BUT, being in Alice I then remembered the Queen's gardeners painting the rosebush (Chapter 7 The Queen's Croquet-Ground) and found Sir John Tenniel's excellent illustrations ... PERFECT! put a crown on top of it and make it their Coat of Arms

The Wind in the Willows, ToadThe Wind in the Willows, Toadso now I am laughing ... sorta, not very funny when such a large number of individuals show bad character ... whatever ... and having found a few good looking toads along the way, 'toadies' as it were, and not wanting the lawyers to feel left out ... apologies to Helen Roberts and the like distaff spindle-side lawyers that the Toads presented are (apparently) male :-)

I'll do rats and pigs another day ...

Lord dyin' dancin' shiverin' shakin' ... will they never stop? but the RCMP are certainly not giving up, which could be considered laudable, maybe even showing strength of character, except that what they are not giving up at is LYING!

they will go to any length to shore up the Mountie's ridiculous concoction of lies masquerading as facts - they will go to any length to see that Justice is NOT done.

the TOADS and the WEASELS and the STOATS and the RATS have seen the writing on the wall, everyone knew from having seen Paul Pritchard's video that the RCMP goon squad: Bill Bentley, Kwesi Millington, Benjamin Monty Robinson, & Gerry Rundel; stepped waaaay across the double line when they killed Robert Dziekanski, so now it seems, their lawyers: David Butcher (for Bentley), Reginald Harris (for Robinson), Ravi Hira (for Millington), & (I am assuming because he has not been mentioned specifically in the news reports) Ted Beaubier (for Rundel); are asking the Supreme Court of British Columbia to rule that Thomas Braidwood cannot conclude 'misconduct'

what utter spew!

scum sucking cowards and liars, all of them!

here are some of the good guys: Thomas Braidwood himself, looking a bit under it in this picture but still on the case; Art Vertleib, his lieutenant; and Craig Jones, lawyer for the Attorney General/Province of BC before Arne Silverman:

Thomas BraidwoodBraidwood Inquiry, Art VertliebBraidwood Inquiry, Art VertliebBraidwood Inquiry, Art VertliebBraidwood Inquiry, Craig JonesBraidwood Inquiry, Craig JonesBraidwood Inquiry, Craig Jones


1. Mounties seek limit on taser inquiry's authority, Ian Bailey, Monday, June 08, 2009.
2. Judge mulls misconduct ruling in taser case, Ian Bailey, Monday, June 08, 2009.
3. Let the inquiry inquire, Editorial, Wednesday, June 10, 2009.
4. Mounties' moves at inquiry nothing short of tawdry, Ian Mulgrew, June 10, 2009.
5. RCMP distances itself from officers' lawsuit over Dziekanski inquiry, CBC, June 9, 2009.
6. Court hears arguments about taser inquiry's scope, Ian Bailey, Saturday, June 13, 2009.
7. Mounties' lawyer tells court inquiry into Dziekanski death has gone astray, James Keller, Saturday, June 13, 2009.
8. Mounties' unseemly effort to muzzle public inquiry dismissed, Ian Mulgrew, Tuesday June 16 2009.

Mounties seek limit on taser inquiry's authority, Ian Bailey, Monday, June 08, 2009.

Lawyers for the four officers involved in Robert Dziekanski's death want B.C. court to prevent Taser inquiry from finding misconduct

Vancouver — Lawyers for four Mounties involved in a fatal 2007 confrontation with Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski have gone to court to question the right of a provincial public inquiry to make findings of misconduct against them.

The issue is to be the focus of a hearing on Friday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Thomas Braidwood, commissioner for the ongoing inquiry, has said he may eventually make findings of misconduct against the four officers who attended when Mr. Dziekanski began acting erratically at the international arrivals area of Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007.

Reg Harris, lawyer for one of the officers, said he wants to clarify Mr. Braidwood's authority.

“There's a petition with respect to clarification on some of the jurisdiction that the inquiry has,” he said. “That's primarily what we're trying to do.”

He said lawyers for each officer are taking their own approach to the matter. “The positions are generally the same with slight factual distinctions,” he said.

“My view is the commissioner does have a scope in some circumstances in this matter to find misconduct. There are issues with respect to particularizations of notice of potential misconduct, and there are issues as to whether or not he can find misconduct in all areas where notice has been provided so some areas yes. Not all areas.”

The four officers have testified at the inquiry, which has stood down pending closing submissions later this month.

The Crown has ruled out charges against the officers.

Mr. Dziekanski, a 40-year-old labourer moving to Canada to live with his mother in Kamloops, died after he was tasered five times by the officers during a confrontation that also saw the Mounties wrestle with him as they restrained him. They have said they feared Mr. Dziekanski, exhausted after travelling to Canada and becoming lost in the airport, because he threatened them with a stapler. The incident has sparked ongoing questions about the police use of stun guns.

Judge mulls misconduct ruling in taser case, Ian Bailey, Monday, June 08, 2009.

Head of probe into death of Polish immigrant reserves option to rule that Mounties failed in their duties

Vancouver — The head of a provincial inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski is reserving the option to level misconduct rulings against four Mounties involved in a fatal confrontation with the Polish immigrant.

In the case of Constable Kwesi Millington, who fired a taser during the Oct. 14, 2007, encounter, Thomas Braidwood says he may conclude that the officer failed to properly assess the circumstances around Mr. Dziekanski and failed to properly respond to them.

“You initially deployed the conducted energy weapon against Mr. Dziekanski … when such deployment was not justified given the totality of the circumstances you were facing at the time,” says the notice, going on to suggest the officer could not have “honestly perceived” Mr. Dziekanski's behaviours were a threat.

Mr. Braidwood says he may also accuse the officer of misrepresenting Mr. Dziekanski's behaviour in his notes and testimony to the inquiry.

These are among the options disclosed Monday in court documents as lawyers for the officers asked the B.C. Supreme Court to rule that Mr. Braidwood lacks the power to make such findings against federal police officers.

“We take the position that a provincial inquiry does not have the jurisdiction to make misconduct findings against the RCMP,” said lawyer David Butcher, representing Constable Bill Bentley.

Mr. Braidwood, who has been at the helm of the continuing inquiry since it was established seven months after Mr. Dziekanski's death, has not actually decided to lay such findings of misconduct, but has itemized them as possibilities.

That prompted the lawyers to announce their legal gambit. During a brief B.C. Supreme Court hearing Monday, the case was put over to Friday.

The officers have received notices of misconduct that vary by their role in the arrest of Mr. Dziekanski, who, tired and angry after being lost for hours at Vancouver International Airport, began acting in an erratic manner.

The police reacted when Mr. Dziekanski began wielding a stapler. The 40-year-old labourer was subjected to five blasts from a taser, and tackled by the officers. He subsequently died.

A similar notice to Constable Bentley warns that Mr. Braidwood may, among other things, conclude the officer “failed to respond appropriately to the circumstances you faced at that time in relation to Mr. Dziekanski,” “misrepresented” Mr. Dziekanski's behaviours and the manner in which events unfolded “for the purposes of justifying your actions and those of your fellow officers” and “placed a self-serving and misleading interpretation” on portions of notes and statements to regional homicide investigators.

Commission counsel Art Vertlieb, who filed the notices to lawyers, Monday declined comment on the situation, pending Friday's hearing.

Reg Harris, lawyer for Corporal Benjamin Robinson – who was the senior officer on the scene – said he wants to clarify Mr. Braidwood's authority.

“That's primarily what we're trying to do.”

He said lawyers for each officer are taking their own approach to the matter, but “the positions are generally the same with slight factual distinctions.”

Mr. Harris acknowledged the court action launched by the lawyers has allowed the media to report on Mr. Braidwood's blunt assertions.

“That was certainly a consideration that went into filing the documents at Supreme Court.

“Having said that, I am certain the news media would take extreme caution in ensuring the public is well informed that these are merely possibilities at this stage,” he said.

The Crown has ruled out criminal charges against the four officers, suggesting they acted lawfully in dealing with Mr. Dziekanski.

Let the inquiry inquire, Editorial, Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

Rather than trying to muzzle the commissioner in the inquiry into the taser killing of Robert Dziekanski, the RCMP should hope for a full clearing of the air, accept the deserved criticism and move on. By going to court to try to block a British Columbia inquiry from making findings of misconduct against the RCMP, the Mounties show themselves to be afraid of the truth. They must believe the truth is very bad.

In that, they are right. The truth is very bad. But the RCMP cannot squelch it now. It is already out. Anyone with a computer can watch the videotape recording made by a bystander at the Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007. It shows a woman, without fear, approaching to help Mr. Dziekanski, an unarmed, distressed immigrant who had been waiting 10 hours for his mother. Then four officers arrive and almost immediately, and without provocation, brutalize him. Trying now to block an impartial commissioner from reaching some harsh conclusions makes the force seem detached from reality.

Sadly, the attempt to muzzle is consistent with the RCMP's practice of denial, obfuscation and falsification ever since Mr. Dziekanski's needless death. The Mounties announced their officers had tasered Mr. Dziekanski twice, though the real number was five times. They said Mr. Dziekanski had fought back when he hadn't. They sent investigators to Mr. Dziekanski's homeland, Poland, to dig up meaningless dirt on his supposed drinking habits and relationships. Neither the suppressing of the facts nor the diversionary tactics prevented the truth from getting out. It only made the national police force appear to be covering up for its mistakes, further undermining the public's trust.

After trying to distort the incident, the force now wants a gag order. Federal officers, it says, are beyond the scope of Thomas Braidwood's authority. Mr. Braidwood is the public's impartial representative, a former B.C. Court of Appeal judge named by the province to apply his ability to get to the bottom of things. He has the public's trust.

The RCMP was supposed to be entering an era of accountability. The days of "the public doesn't have a right to know anything" (a public-relations officer's comment after a previous incident) were supposed to be over. The RCMP seems arrogantly to believe, still, that the public has no right to know, or to judge.

Mounties' moves at inquiry nothing short of tawdry, Ian Mulgrew, June 10, 2009.

Four Mounties going to court to sanitize the findings of the inquiry into the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski are darkening the public's already dim view of the once-respected national police force.

Their B.C. Supreme Court petition mocks the intent of months of work by commissioner Tom Braidwood and the desire of Canadians for an impartial report about what happened at Vancouver airport on Oct. 14, 2007.

What triggered Monday's legal action was a letter from the inquiry's counsel informing the RCMP officers that Braidwood was mulling serious criticism of them for Tasering five times and physically restraining the 40-year-old Polish immigrant.

Dziekanski died handcuffed on the floor of the airport without regaining consciousness.

"You initially deployed the conducted energy weapon against Mr. Dziekanski ... when such deployment was not justified given the totality of the circumstances you were facing at the time," says the letter to the officers.

It continues that the Horsemen could not have "honestly perceived" Dziekanski was a threat, misrepresented what happened in notes and testimony "for the purposes of justifying" their actions, and "placed a self-serving and misleading interpretation" on events to homicide investigators.

That sent the four scurrying for cover.

Their lawyers want the B.C. Supreme Court to rule that Braidwood lacks the constitutional authority to criticize the federal cops because his mandate comes from the provincial government.

"We take the position that a provincial inquiry does not have the jurisdiction to make misconduct findings against the RCMP," said lawyer David Butcher, who represents one of the Mounties.

This unseemly development underscores the drawback of B.C.'s contracting-out of municipal and provincial police work to the Mounties -- the force reports to Ottawa, not Victoria, and so there is no local political accountability.

Walter Kosteckyj, lawyer for Dziekanski's mother Zofia Cisowski, was fuming after being told about the latest tactic by the RCMP members to avoid responsibility.

"These officers were under contract to the province of British Columbia, they were being paid by the people of the province of British Columbia," he complained.

"They don't want to be held responsible and clearly they feel that the pressure is on, so these are all last-ditch efforts."

Regardless of the latest legal ploy by the officers, Braidwood is not about to compose a report assigning criminal or civil blame. After listening to several months of evidence, though, he is going to express an opinion and offer his conclusions and recommendations.

Any findings of misconduct will add immeasurable pressure on Victoria to reconsider last December's decision to not pursue criminal charges against the four officers, make the civil case against them a slam-dunk and ensure this public relations disaster escalates into an even bigger debacle for the national force.

No wonder the Mounties are trying to dilute Braidwood's report before he gets a chance to write it.

In doing so, however, they have revealed themselves for what we had grown to suspect after their testimony: They are cowards who even today are afraid to face the music.

They also have revealed their better-late-than-never apologies issued during the inquiry to be more insincere than even cynics suggested.

How can they possibly defend this attempt to derail a disinterested inquiry into a tragedy that has captured global attention?

If these officers had such serious constitutional qualms about Braidwood's jurisdiction and questions about his authority, they should have raised them before they took the stand and shocked the world with their incredible testimony.

This latest manoeuvre to forestall the inevitable is tawdry.

Shame on all of them.

RCMP distances itself from officers' lawsuit over Dziekanski inquiry, CBC, June 9, 2009.

The RCMP in British Columbia is distancing itself from a lawsuit against the province launched by four of its officers at the centre of an inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski.

Lawyers for the four officers have launched a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court arguing that no provincial inquiry has jurisdiction to make findings of misconduct against federal police.

Dziekanski died on Oct. 14, 2007, after the RCMP officers used a Taser to subdue him at Vancouver International Airport.

At issue is the accountability of the RCMP. The Mounties work for a federal institution but are hired by the provincial government and paid by provincial taxpayers. When there are complaints, the RCMP is not subject to the same complaints process that other police forces in the province are.

A provincially mandated inquiry was called in the wake of Dziekanski's death and is being overseen by Thomas Braidwood, a retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice. Closing arguments are to be heard June 19.

Braidwood has warned that his final report may find that the officers acted "inappropriately aggressively," that they "misrepresented" what happened with Dziekanski and gave testimony that was "self-serving and misleading."

But in their lawsuit, the four RCMP officers claim they are answerable only to the federal government and are seeking an order to stop Braidwood's inquiry from finding them at fault. Their lawyers argue that the province has no jurisdiction to assess misconduct.

But Sgt. Tim Shields, the RCMP's official spokesman in B.C., said the RCMP disagrees with that position.

"The position of the RCMP is that the RCMP will co-operate fully with the inquiry and is also recognizing the jurisdiction of the inquiry as having authority," Shields told the CBC's Terry Milewski.

Asked why the lawyers for the four men were arguing the contrary, Shields said: "These lawyers are representing the four officers; they're not representing the RCMP."

While Shields acknowledged the lawyers are paid with taxpayers' money, the force itself has no power to stop them from contradicting RCMP policy, he said.

In fact, the RCMP accepted the inquiry's authority before it even began.

In February 2008, according to internal RCMP emails released under access to information laws, the commanding officer of the RCMP in B.C., Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass, rejected advice from RCMP headquarters in Ottawa suggesting that the RCMP should not co-operate if the province called an inquiry.

"Frankly, I don't care what Ottawa's position on it is at this stage. The Provincial Force will co-operate," Bass wrote. "I think we should avoid any legalistic jargon which leaves any room for suggestion that we may opt out at some point or under some circumstances."

A final report by Braidwood is expected in the fall.

Court hears arguments about taser inquiry's scope, Ian Bailey, Saturday, June 13, 2009.

Braidwood Inquiry has authority to make finding of RCMP misconduct, says lawyer for B.C. Attorney-General

VANCOUVER — The head of an inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski has the authority to make findings of misconduct against four Mounties involved in a notorious airport encounter with the Polish immigrant, a lawyer for B.C.'s Attorney-General argued yesterday.

Craig Jones's submissions before a B.C. Supreme Court judge were a challenge to assertions, disclosed earlier this week, from lawyers for the officers that Thomas Braidwood does not have the authority to make such findings.

When the lawyers announced they planned to go to court, their submissions aired the fact that Mr. Braidwood, a former judge, had told them and their clients that he might make findings of misconduct against them.

In notices to the officers, he said he could make findings of inappropriate responses and actions at the scene of Mr. Dziekanski's death, improper or misleading behaviour during the investigation, and misleading testimony.

Mr. Jones said Mr. Braidwood virtually has a duty to point out inconsistencies.

"If Commissioner Braidwood concludes that the events of Oct. 13-14, 2007, unfolded in a particular way, and his findings in this regard are contrary to accounts and explanations subsequently offered by the [police], either during the subsequent investigation or during the hearing, then as a matter of course he must describe those accounts and explanations and provide his reasons for rejecting them," Mr. Jones told Mr. Justice Arnie Silverman.

"If the reasons for rejecting are based on his conclusion that the [police] testimony was false, he is obligated to say so."

That includes talking about their credibility, Mr. Jones said.

The lawyers are seeking to delay the inquiry or bar the release of a final report until there is a decision from the Supreme Court.

Since January, the inquiry has heard 86 witnesses as part of its mandate to provide Mr. Dziekanski's family and the public with a complete record related to his death.

Mr. Dziekanski, 40, died on Oct. 14, 2007, after a confrontation with the officers, who were dispatched to the international arrivals area of Vancouver Airport where Mr. Dziekanski was acting erratically.

He had become lost in the terminal after travelling to Canada to begin a new life with his mother in Kamloops.

He was tasered and wrestled down by police.

The use of the stun gun has sparked an ongoing debate about the police use of such devices.

Closing arguments in the inquiry are supposed to begin next Friday.

The police lawyers have suggested the provincial inquiry established in February, 2008, lacks the authority to make findings of misconduct against members of a federal police force.

However, Mr. Jones noted that the Constitution establishes provincial responsibility for the control and supervision of law enforcement in the province.

But his submission to the court noted that the potential misconduct findings would not constitute formal discipline of the officers or affect the management and organization of the RCMP.

The RCMP in B.C. has said, through a spokesman, that it respects the jurisdiction of the inquiry.

The Crown has ruled out charges against the officers, stating they acted with reasonable force.

Mounties' lawyer tells court inquiry into Dziekanski death has gone astray, James Keller, Saturday, June 13, 2009.

VANCOUVER - A B.C. Supreme Court judge will decide whether a public inquiry has authority to pass judgment on what has become the central issue in the death of Robert Dziekanski: the actions of four RCMP officers who confronted the man at Vancouver's airport.

The officers asked the court Friday to prevent Commissioner Thomas Braidwood from making findings of misconduct when he writes his final report into what happened in the early morning of Oct. 14, 2007.

The challenge was heard well into the evening, and the decision, expected Monday, could affect the timing of the inquiry, which is scheduled to begin closing submissions next Friday.

Braidwood, who spent four months hearing from 80 witnesses, has warned the officers he may considering allegations levelled during the inquiry - notably that the four men acted improperly and then lied to cover up their actions.

While the notice only means Braidwood is considering the allegations, not that he has decided the officers are at fault, the officers' lawyers want the court to remove that option.

They are also asking Justice Arne Silverman to delay the inquiry if the issue can't be settled by next week.

Ravi Hira, lawyer for the officer who fired the Taser, said the inquiry strayed from its original terms of reference.

"(The inquiry's) purpose was to provide Mr. Dziekanski's family and the public with a complete record of the circumstances of ... Mr. Dziekanski's death," said Hira.

"The focus of the inquiry very quickly became the conduct of these four officers and that's it."

While B.C.'s Public Inquiry Act gives the commissioner the power to make findings of misconduct, Hira noted that direction was not included in the original terms of reference from the provincial government.

In a confidential notice to the officers, lawyers for the inquiry list the broad allegations that were made against them during the hearings.

The allegations include that the officers failed to properly assess the scene when they arrived at Vancouver's airport, that they responded inappropriately by stunning Dziekanski several times with a Taser, and that they later lied to investigators and to the inquiry to justify their actions.

Hira said those are all criminal offences - assault, obstruction of justice, perjury - that are outside the scope of a provincial inquiry, which cannot assign criminal or civil responsibility.

But Art Vertlieb, the inquiry's lead lawyer, replied the accusations included in the notice aren't allegations of criminal wrongdoing, and he said Braidwood is fully aware he doesn't have the power to assign criminal or civil blame.

He said Braidwood must be able to assess the credibility of the officers as he analyzes what happened.

"Were we to ascribe to the view endorsed by (the officers' lawyers), that would lead to such a sanitized version in advance that it would not do justice as to why this inquiry was called," said Vertlieb.

"We must deal with the events and circumstances to prevent this from happening again."

The lawyers are also arguing a provincial inquiry doesn't have the authority to make findings against federal police officers of the RCMP.

David Butcher, another of the officers' lawyers, said legislation that governs the RCMP allows the federal government or the police complaints commissioner to hold their own inquiries.

"There is a federal mechanism for the process that this commissioner wants to undertake in a provincial inquiry," said Butcher.

Last December, Crown prosecutors announced their decision not to charge the officers, saying they acted with reasonable force when they confronted Dziekanski, who minutes earlier had been throwing furniture.

But the testimony at the inquiry that appeared to be inconsistent with an amateur video of the confrontation and with the officers' own statements to investigators led to calls for prosecutors to rethink that decision.

If everything is settled when Silverman issues his decision on Monday, closing arguments could go ahead as planned on Friday.

But if he orders the inquiry to provide more details of the potential allegations - another of the officers' demands - that will almost certainly bring the inquiry to a halt.

Braidwood had hoped to submit his report this fall.

A report from the first phase of the inquiry, which was held last year and examined Taser use in general, is expected to be handed over to the provincial government by the end of this month.

Mounties' unseemly effort to muzzle public inquiry dismissed, Ian Mulgrew, Tuesday June 16 2009.

Discredited RCMP officers in Taser inquiry will likely appeal decision: They have nothing left to lose

The unseemly 11th-hour attempt by four Mounties to muzzle the public inquiry into the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski thankfully was quashed by the B.C. Supreme Court.

Justice Arne Silverman dismissed their claims that commissioner Thomas Braidwood had treated them unfairly, had strayed too far from his original mandate, had trespassed on federal jurisdiction and had no power to cast blame.

"In my view, [the four RCMP officers] are wrong," he said bluntly in an hour-long oral ruling Monday.

Before a courtroom full of journalists and spectators, Justice Silverman flatly rejected arguments that Braidwood had trodden on Ottawa's constitutional authority for the Criminal Code and its responsibility for managing a federal agency.

He said Braidwood, a former B.C. Court of Appeal judge, had dealt with the RCMP members not only in a fair and reasonable manner, but also in a way that was legally correct.

Everyone who has attended the inquiry could attest to that. Braidwood has been scrupulously patient, careful and unbiased.

This last-ditch attempt to gag him was an embarrassing affront to a respected retired jurist and to Dziekanski's grieving mother Zofia Cisowski, who has waited almost two years to learn why her son died.

Const. Gerry Rundel, Const. Bill Bentley, Const. Kwesi Millington and Cpl. Monty Robinson petitioned Silverman to overturn two of Braidwood's recent decisions -- the first, to send them notices saying he "may" find they committed misconduct and, the second, refusing to provide specific details of that misconduct.

The Mounties argued the allegations in the notices were tantamount to criminal charges of assault with a weapon, obstruction of justice and perjury and beyond Braidwood's terms of reference.

But Justice Silverman disagreed and said their conduct was vital to understanding what happened Oct. 14, 2007 at Vancouver International Airport.

He noted the B.C. Public Inquiry Act specifically empowered a commissioner to make findings of misconduct in appropriate situations.

He added that Braidwood was acting properly.

Art Vertlieb, counsel for the commission, welcomed the ruling.

"This means the commissioner can continue with the important work he is doing," he said. "We'll be ready to go Friday [with final submissions]."

Silverman's decision was straightforward and full of common sense.

Everyone knew Braidwood's final report might parse responsibility and be critical of certain individuals and organizations that had contact with Dziekanski during the roughly 10 hours he spent in the airport.

For the four Mounties to claim he caught them by surprise with the notices of misconduct was ridiculous. They should have stood up at the beginning if they had concerns about the inquiry's scope.

Yet their growing concern about Braidwood's report is understandable.

Crown counsel last December decided not to criminally charge the officers who Tasered the Polish immigrant five times and physically restrained him.

Evidence at the inquiry, however, has revealed significant contradictions between an amateur video and the officers' notes and statements to homicide investigators, throwing a huge cloud over that prosecutorial decision.

The government of Poland also has since said it is mulling charges against the four, but is awaiting the inquiry's findings.

Braidwood hopes to begin writing his report by the end of the month and deliver it later this year.

That timetable, though, still is not assured.

The Mounties have a right to appeal Justice Silverman's ruling.

Sad to say, I agree with Cisowski's lawyer, Walter Kosteckyj, and wouldn't put it past these four to continue trying to derail the inquiry by filing an appeal.

They have nothing left to lose: Their reputations and credibility already are in tatters.

Their lawyers left immediately after the stinging defeat, declining to comment.


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