The bewitching hour

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Hearings resumed at 0900 hours (9:00 am)this morning, Thursday, 04 December 2008.  Retired Detective Inspector Pat Hall’s examination-in-chief continues.

Hearings wrapped up bang on schedule yesterday.  The commissioner said “It’s 4:30.”

Engelmann asked Hall:  “How are you doing, sir?”

Hall replied:  “I’m done.”

Laughter from the gathered throng!

Seems 4:30 is the bewitching hour.  Sometimes for Justice Glaude.  Always for Pat Hall.

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Hall just explained that the courteous arrests by Project Truth officers of Cornwall’s “alleged” paedophiles was done in that fashion because ‘This is historic stuff.  It happened 20/30 years ago.’

Leduc of course was not what would be considered historic.  He received the same compassionate treatment.

Need I say that poor Steve Parisien was arrested, frisked and cuffed and tossed into a cruiser in broad daylight.  No compassion there.  True, a different bunch of police officers, but, non-the-less, that’s the way a sex abuse victim from Glaude’s inquiry was arrested for presumably obstructing justice.

And then there’s Perry.  Perry of course was cuffed and waist-shackled as he was escorted across the country. No compassion there either.

Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is police compassion reserved for “alleged” paedophiles?

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I continue poring through the transcripts working on timelines.  That will be an ongoing process throughout Hall’s testimony.

Yesterday’s transcript is posted.  Again, I suggest you read it if time permits.  There’s a lot there. I can’t come close to covering it 🙁

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Some observations and comments from yesterday’s testimony:

(1)  Prior to the “arrest” of three priests the Bishop of Prince Albert Saskatchewan was contacted and asked to advise the trio to report to police at the Long Sault OPP detachment.  According to Hall’s notes:

“Information that Bishop in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan is Bishop Blaise Morand. Request that three members of the clergy be contacted and report to Long Sault.”

This was the gentlemanly fashion in which many if not all most Project Truth sex abuse suspects were “arrested” and charged. It was done for all clergy:

our procedure was to contact the Bishop and have him contact our suspects and have them report at a certain time, at a certain location in lieu of arrest warrant.

It was also done with Jacques Leduc.

I haven’t had a chance to check who these three might be, but it certainly tightens up the Prince Albert-Cornwall connections, i.e.,  while still a priest Richard Hickerson served in Prince Albert, and Father Gaetan Deschamps served in Prince Albert, and Father Luc Meunier trekked off to Prince Albert.

Hickerson was no longer a priest so he wasn’t one of the trio.

To my knowledge there were no allegations against Deschamps until recently so it wasn’t him.

One may have been Meunier.

I will have to find out 🙂

(2)  Detective Inspector Tim Smith picked officer Don Genier for the Project Truth team because he was bilingual.

Genier was presumably assigned to handle Claude Marleau’s allegations because Claude’s first language is French.

Although Claude would have preferred to be interviewed in his mother tongue the interview was conducted in English.  Asked why, Hall had no explanation.  He did however go on to say that the Project Truth secretary was not bilingual and therefore would be unable to type up a French interview.  It was also clear that Hall read all interviews and he is not bilingual.

(3)  Hall testified that Claude Marleau identified the wrong priest as one of his abusers.  The way I recall the scenario is that Claude described Father Rene Dube to the police officer but did not know his name.  The police officer suggested that must be Father Gilles Deslaurier.  Claude knew no different.   Once it became apparent there were problems a photo line-up was put together.  Claude instantly picked out Rene Dube.  But by then it was on the record:  mistaken identity by the “alleged” victim.

It was Genier who handled Claude’s allegations and, according to Hall, conducted the interview.

Claude’s transcripts are in French so I have no way of checking, and in fact am not certain that this even came out while Claude was on the stand.  I do however recall distinctly from conversations with Claude after his various trials that the mistaken identity issue was prompted by police.

(4)  There were concerns regarding Genier’s interviews.  According to Hall’s notes Tim Smith paged him after talking to Robert Pelletier.  Hall’s notes read:

“Discussed Investigator Genier’s statements. He had discussion with Joe and Steve, need to improve. If not, look for replacement.”

Hall said this was regarding the quality of the statements Genier was taking.  According to Hall, Smith felt Genier’s statements weren’t up to par and the issue was leading questions (“I think it was along the lines of maybe leading questions.”)

(5)  The allegations against Father Charles MacDonald contained in the materials Perry gave to Julian Fantino in December 1996 were supposed to be a priority for the Project Truth team.  Charlie was already facing charges.  Everyone knew it.

As hard as it is to believe interviews with the other “alleged” victims of Charlie referenced in the Dunlop-Fantino materials were not conducted until September, October and November  of 1997!

(6)   What am I missing here?

In the summer of 1998 Hall and Smith wanted to investigate Perry Dunlop.  In order to do so they would have to have put the request in writing.  They decided against it because it would have looked like they were investigating Perry Dunlop.  I must have missed something on that one.  Makes no sense to me.  Look at this:

MR. HALL I think it was either July or August of ’98 — Inspector Smith and myself had a conversation with Inspector Trew. We wanted them to do an investigation on Constable Dunlop.

Inspector Trew consulted with his Chief and it came back they wanted a request in writing and we consulted with our Headquarters in Orillia and determination whether we start putting requests in writing then it would be construed as we’re doing an investigation on Dunlop, which we didn’t want to do.

As I say, what am I missing?

(9)  Hall told Perry that if he, Perry, ever had dealings with a victim who was reluctant to speak to OPP officers Perry could go ahead and deal with him!!

Too too much.  They wouldn’t allow Perry on the Project Truth team because the CPS was presumably under scrutiny, but he could help out the team in certain circumstances? even though he was still an officer with CPS which was presumably under scrutiny?

Too too much!!

(10) I still think there is something amiss with the handling of the sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic school teacher Marcel Lalonde.  Hall becomes quite adamant here in stressing that Project Truth didn’t investigate Lalonde because  there was already a police investigation underway and, Lalonde had been charged.

The thing is that Charlie had already been charged and Project Truth took over his case.

Furthermore, Marcel Lalonde was identified as a suspect in the materials Perry turned over to Julian Fantino and, according to testimony, those documents and allegations presumably were the foundation for the Project Truth mandate!  Plus, by the sound of it Project Truth made up their rules as they went along when it came to which allegations they would or would not investigate.

The other thing is that the allegations of non-disclosure against Perry took off with the Marcel Lalonde case – my recollection is that Cornwall police started howling for disclosure of documents which had been disclosed and were already in possession of Project Truth.

This mess is further complicated by the fact Genier, who was with the PT team, was simultaneously involved in OPP investigation of Lalonde, and the CPS was also investigating allegations against Lalonde!!

And the left hand didn’t know what the right was doing!

(11) When the Fall 1997 disclosure came from Perry CPS Inspector Rick Trew felt it should all be turned over to the OPP:

“Trew feels the information should be turned over to OPP not Cornwall Police Service”.

I would guess that without a doubt that decision had considerable impact on the Lalonde trial and the ensuing howls of non-disclosure by Perry.

(12)  When Perry was disclosing in accord with the legal advice of his lawyer Hall apparently got the CPS to go after Perry and order him to disclose.  As you will see, there was a bit of tap dance by Hall acknowledging that one:

MR. ENGELMANN: And did either you or Detective Inspector Smith request the Cornwall Police Service to order Constable Dunlop to produce the notes?

MR. HALL: I think there was a further order by Inspector Trew.

MR. ENGELMANN: Yes. I’m just wondering if either you or Detective Inspector Smith would have asked for that.

MR. HALL: Well, we were, I could say, vigorously trying to get his disclosure. He was a Cornwall police officer. We had no control over him whatsoever, so I don’t think we really had to ask. I mean, I think Inspector Trew determined, from the information we were not receiving, that they had to do something.

MR. ENGELMANN: Well, you couldn’t order him because —

MR. HALL: No.

MR. ENGELMANN: — he wasn’t your officer.

MR. HALL: No, no, I couldn’t.

MR. ENGELMANN: Okay. And all I’m —

MR. HALL: No control whatsoever.

MR. ENGELMANN: All I’m asking is whether you would have sought the assistance of the Cornwall Police Service to do that so that you could get this information.

MR. HALL: Yes, we had to.

MR. ENGELMANN: All right.

MR. HALL: I mean I was trying to cooperate the best I could because I knew I had no control over him. I was trying to accommodate anything he wanted, just to get our disclosure.

…..

MR. ENGELMANN: Yes, okay. So this is the response to, “My lawyer won’t let me do it.” You’ve asked the CPS to give him an order to turn over the materials that he had been requested to give you on August 7th, 1997?

MR. HALL: That’s correct.

I wonder if this was in the window in which Hall considered he and Perry were friends?

(13)  The Attorney General’s office was frequently in contact with Hall asking for information.  Hall cited specifically the office of the Murray Segal.  (Segal is a civil servant who has been a constant in the AG’s office for years, from one government to another)

According to Hall sometimes Murray Segal’s secretary was paging him at five or six o’clock in the evening.

“Need to talk to you; need information. The Ministry wants a briefing in the morning. Going to make a press release”.

This during the Michael Harris PC government when Jim Flaherty was Attorney General. (Flaherty is now Minster of Finance at the federal level – with the Steve Harper Conservative government)

According to Hall some of these calls can be attributed to then Conservative MP Garry Guzzowho, according to Hall, was giving out many “inexactitudes” in the legislature.  Hall continued:

Well, there was no doubt in my mind some of the comments weren’t accurate. I mean, we were accused of destroying evidence. We were accused of illegal search warrants. We were being accused of being incompetent.

(14)  Amazing.  It took the Project Truth team months to sift through the Dunlop-Fantino materials and then get themselves organized with a special computer program and so on.  Months.

Perry handled all of that himself.

A final note.  Rest assured hearings for the day will wrap up at 4:30 pm.  The bewitching hour 🙂

Tick. Tock.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Cornwall, Perry Dunlop, Project Truth. Bookmark the permalink.

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