Hearings resumed at 0930 hours (9:30 am) Monday morning, 26 January 2009. Justice Robert Pelletier is on the stand. Pelletier is the former LÓrignal Crown who, despite his close friendship with Cornwall Crown Murray MacDonald, handled Charlie’s prosecution up to and beyond the preliminary hearings. Pelletier eventually was pulled from Charlie’s prosecution, …but was left to render an opinion on the death threats against Perry Dunlop and his family. Pelletier decided it would not be in the public interest to pursue charges.
The inquiry deck has been well stacked. Don’t be surprised to hear more muck-raking and vilification of Perry.
Interesting how the witnesses have been scheduled isn’t it? The AG witnesses come in as tail-end Charlie. They’ve conveniently heard and scrutinized all the evidence, and their boss conveniently dropped the ax so his employees – who should have been on the stand for days of scrutiny – are on and off in the twinkle of an “impartial” and “independent” inquiry eye.
The AG’s office – implicated in the scandal and cover-up – commissioned the inquiry, drafted the flawed mandate, chose a judge awash in real and perceived conflicts, received full standing at the inquiry, and dropped the ax when AG witnesses were on deck!!
It all just gets plain tiring. Four years ago I had a hunch where this was going. I would love to have been proven wrong. My how I would love to have been proven wrong. There is no joy in being proven right.
But, ah yes, wait for the final report. I will indeed. I will hold out hopes that contrary to the evidence which has been given – and that which has not – I am proven wrong.
We shall see….
For now, two items regarding the Lidia Narozniak testimony. It’s taken a while. I had to set it aside a few times because I couldn’t stomach any more. It’s all so thoroughly disgusting. Such a travesty.
During her brief stint on the stand Lidia Narozniak went on and on and on about Perry Dunlop and disclosure.
If there’s anything I’ve learned with certainty in the past months it is that (i) no one, police or Crown, seemed to know what documents they had in their possession, (ii) no one seemed to know what documents they thought they should have in their possession, (iii) documents disclosed to the Cornwall Police Service were not relayed to the OPP in the Marcel Lalonde sex abuse trial, and they all went mad accusing Perry of withholding documents he had already disclosed and were in possession of CPS, (iv) the documents Perry ‘disclosed’ in the Dunlop-Fantino brief and to the AG and Sol. Gen. were not passed over in their entirety to Project Truth officers.
I certainly get the impression that after Perry disclosed material no one kept a handle on it, and that he was being hammered and harassed over and over again to disclose and accused of not disclosing when he had in fact disclosed.
There were instances where Perry was apparently advised by his lawyer that certain material was privileged, but after that was ironed “they” had everything he had, ….and still they were after him and accusing him, and to this day letters and transcripts related to those allegations of non-disclosure are used to vilify him.
I will add here that much is made of Perry’s 05 April 2000 disclosure of nine boxes of materials. There is an implication slipped through from time to time that it was then and only then that Perry disclosed. The truth of the matter seems to be that Perry had disclosed numerous documents to a number of person, and that S/Sgt Gary Derochie was hounding Perry for disclosure, and in 2000 ordered him to disclose and Perry passed on those nine boxes.
Shelley Hallett testified that she went through the boxes and determined that the contents had already been disclosed or were irrelevant:
“A preliminary inventory of the contents of the boxes by a Project Truth investigator suggests that the materials are either duplicates of materials already in the possession of Project Truth or irrelevant to Project Truth prosecutions.”
They already had the documents! Meaning I would say that they had already been disclosed. And what do we hear over and over again? 05 April 2000. 05 April 2000.
I believe I recall Derochie actually testifying that in truth he didn’t know what material Perry had so he, Derochie, would just order him to disclose in the hopes he’d get anything Perry was withholding. He didn’t know if in fact Perry was withholding anything, but he thought he might be so he Derochie kept at it.
Was it Derochie? I think so. Will check in due course.
In truth it doesn’t really matter who it was, the fact is that all of these howls for disclosure created a paper trail with the obvious perception being that time and time again police recognized that Perry was withholding documents and time and again Perry refused to disclose. They make hay of it.
There weren’t too many howls about Constable Joe Dupuis not disclosing his notes were there? In that instance all circle the wagons and allow an inadvertent non-disclosure on that one. But, not for Perry. Even when he had nothing to disclose Perry was being accused of wilful non-disclosure.
And then look at this….
In May 2004 Narozniak was preparing for the Leduc trial. She and Henein went through the boxes together. According to the pair, documents were missing. On 17 May 2004 Henein wrote to Narozniak:
“As is evidenced from our review, it appears that a significant portion of Dunlop’s materials, particularly notes from 1998 when Mr. Leduc was charged, and in particular May of 1998 when Dunlop claims he spoke to C-16’s mother, are completely absent from both our boxes. Accordingly, I respectfully request an opportunity to review the original police notes that were provided by Dunlop to the police.”
Files missing? In 2004?
Two final thought on this disclosure business.
(i) Who paid for Perry’s photocopying costs? I have never heard. Was that out of his own pocket? Or was he reimbursed?
Nine boxes of material? That’s a lot of copying. Expensive.
(ii) How many hours, days or weeks did Perry spend at a photocopier? I dread to think.
(2) Another royal sand-bagging and farce of a cross-examination and non-‘redirect’
I dug out my notes from the August/September 2004 Leduc pre-trial disclosure motion. I had a clear recollection that the day Carson was on the stand Henein happily but erroneously deduced that he had been in frequent contact with C-16’s family before Leduc ever went to trial. I also had a clear recollection that Narozniak, presumably the Crown, did nothing to clarify this fallacy or lie or whatever you want to call it. Narozniak has in fact been party to spreading this fallacy. It got Leduc off the hook.
I wanted to find my notes to “refresh” my memory.
There are three things I must first say before outlining what transpired when Carson was on the stand in late summer 2004, specifically as it relates to his contacts with C-16 and/or C-16’s mother:
(i) Carson Chisholm has spent years working as an auctioneer and real estate agent. In both jobs he met and interacted with countless people, being it, for example, selling a home, showing a home to potential buyers, or selling an item at auction;
(ii) After six weeks of the 2001 Leduc “trial” those in regular attendance at the courthouse had eventually and inevitably met C-16, C-17 and their mothers in the small courthouse hallway. Contact amounted to a few brief words of support and encouragement. I recall that C-16 wanted nothing to do with anyone. I also recall that everyone was being watched like a hawk;
(iii) C-16’s mother was extremely upset after the stay. She couldn’t believe Leduc hadn’t gotten off, was upset that he got off simply because of the two minimal contacts she had had with Perry, wanted desperately to do something but didn’t have a clue what she could do. Her options were limited because C-16 did not want anyone to know who he was. The mother asked several people to her home to help her brainstorm ideas. I was invited. I went twice for sure, maybe three times. I recall that Carson was there. My memory is hazy on this because it really was a non-issue in the grand scheme of Cornwall, just a case of people trying to help a distraught mother who asked for a needed a hand.
I believe the mother decided that she would like to do something related to reform of the justice system in general, and perhaps even mount some kind of petition in that regard. Nothing ever came of it. The poor soul never really got anything off the ground.
I don’t know when the meetings took place. Somewhere long the line I may come across some notes. I do know it was some time after Leduc’s 2001 “trial” and stay.
With that in mind, on to Leduc’s 2004 pre-trial disclosure motion.
(A) Pre-trial disclosure motion
At 11:25 am Thursday 19 August 2004, Day Four of the pre-trial disclosure motion, and after 3 plus days of sandbagging Perry and refusing to adjourn to allow Perry to find and retain a lawyer, Carson was put on the stand. As with Perry, Carson had been called as a Crown witness and Lidia Narozniak conducted the exam in chief.
My notes are sketchy, but suffice to get a general idea. This is essentially how the pertinent section of Carson’s exam-in-chief by Narozniak went:
Q: Have you had contact with any witness who alleged impropriety by Jacques Leduc?
A: A couple of years ago.
Q: Do you have notes?
Q: Why no notes?
A: He’d already been charged.
Q: Did you meet with him with Perry?
Q: Where did you meet?
A: Here in court.
Q: What proceeding?
A: The trial, with McKinnon as judge.
Q: How long was the contact?
A: A minute or two.
Q: Did you talk about his allegations?
A: I don’t think.
Q: Did you know him before?
Q: How did you know him?
A: I don’t know. Probably his mother told me.
Q: Did you ever talk to C-16’s mother before that?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Ever speak to C-16 before that?
A: I don’t know.
Q: How long have you known C-16’s mother?
A: About three years.
Q: Why did you attend C-16’s mother’s home?
A: To find out what’s going on.
A: I’m interested.
Q: Do you have any training taking statements?
A: I learned how to write.
Q: Have you had any contact with C-17 or his mother?
A: Yes. The son is a victim.
Q: What were the circumstances?
A: I don’t recall.
A: Here in court.
Q: Did you speak with C-17’s mother?
Q: Prior to the trial?
A: I think so. I know her husband through Real Estate.
Q: Did you ever attend the home of C-17?
A: I don’t believe I did.
Q: How many conversations with C-17’s mother?
A: Don’t know.
Q: Did you know C-17 family prior to Leduc trial?
Q: When you met what did she tell you?
A: I don’t recall. I think that he was done by Leduc.
Q: Did you talk to C-17?
A: He’s another victim. Alleged victim. That’s the beautiful thing about the Cornwall community – alleged victims- alleged perps.
Q: Any contact with C-22 (Stuart Labelle)?
A: No. I don’t think so.
Q: Did you ever attend the residence of C-22?
A: I took drugs this morning. Gravol. I normally have a strong stomach but I find these proceedings kind of nauseating.
There was no cross examination by Henein at this time. After a few more questions about Florida and Ron Leroux hearings were adjourned to 13 September 2004.
(B) Cross-examination by Henein
On 13 September 2004 Carson took the stand. Marie Henein launched into her cross examination.
Cross examination began at 10:05 am. There was a lunch break during which Carson was escorted off home for retrieval of documents, that after he testified he had a few original statements at home and hadn’t realized he was supposed to disclose originals.
At 2:50 it was back at it again. After about an hour or so Henein launched into questions regarding C-16 and his mother, and C-17.
Note Carson’s response to when he knew C-16’s mother: “When this thing surfaced.”
“This thing.” The “this” in “this thing” is the obviously the thing that put Carson on the stand right at that moment – the Perry-C-16’s mother contact ‘thing.’
Note that Henein offers a date of 1998 and Carson says, “if that’s when it was.” And note that Henein does not seek further clarification:
Q: Did you know C-16’s mother before 2001?
A: Don’t know when
A: When his thing surfaced
A: If that’s when it was.
Q: You obtained details from her about what happened?
Q: How many conversations did you have?
A: Probably a few
[Henein pressed him to be more specific, Carson wanted to stick with his answer because “if I say four and turns out to be seven, that’s grounds for dismissal”
Platana intervened: “Just a moment now”
Carson replied: “Well it’s true. That’s the way it is. She’s badgering me]
Q: When you spoke with C-16’s mother where were you?
A: At her home. Here [courthouse]
Q: You discussed her son?
A: She had a petition going
Q: You discussed C-16 because you were interested?
A: Yes. But I didn’t take any statements, that was police.
Q: What did you discuss?
A: I don’t the son. She was telling me he went to do yard work for Leduc. Leduc took him to Florida. Then C-16 wouldn’t go to work for Leduc and the parents said he should go.
Q: Was that said in C-16’s presence?
A: I don’t know. I doubt it.
Q: Was anyone else there?
A: Her husband.
Q: Are you close enough to C-16’s mother to call her?
Q: How often have you called her?
A: Three, four, five times
Q: How many conversations with C-16?
A: Maybe one? Hardly anything.
Q: Did you report to Perry
Q: Was Helen Dunlop at C-16’s mother’s house?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: Did you discuss with Helen?
Q: How many times at C-16’s mother’s home? Three?
Q: C-16 wasn’t present?
A: I don’t think so?
Q: Anyone else there that you recall?
Q: Do you know C-17’s family?
Q: Do you know C-17’s mother [gave her name]?
A: I met her. I think that’s her name
Q: Ever speak to C-17’s mother?
A: Maybe once, here in court.
Q: You know that C-17 is a victim?
Q: Do you recall C-17’s mother at C-16’s mother’s house?
A: No. She lived somewhere near Leduc’s.
Q: How do you know that?
A: Maybe through Real Estate.
Q: How do you know where they live?
A: I don’t know where, but I have a general idea.
Q: Did you speak to C-17?
A: Can’t recall.
The record would indicate at best that Carson had perhaps met with C-16’s mother in 1998. There is other testimony which clearly states it was 2001. Carson forgot his dates. Who doesn’t in Cornwall? Henein slipped in 1998. Carson said “If that’s when it was.”
Narozniak did nothing to clarify the record. She knew that Carson had earlier testified in his exam in chief that he had known C-16’s mother for about three years. She obviously saw that he forgot what year things happened and relied on Henein, but only with an ” If that’s when it was.” She knew that Carson told her he met C-16 at the courthouse at “the trial” with McKinnon as judge.
She also knew or should have known that Carson’s work as an auctioneer and Real Estate agent in a community like Cornwall put him in contact with a multitude of people. I would like to see the transcript but my memory and notes say that the questions were loose and broad, i.e., ‘Did you ever talk to C-16’s mother before that?’
What does “talk to” constitute? I talk to a waitress. I talk to a bus driver.
I recall Carson telling me that if he had said he had never spoken to C-16 or his mother before the “trial” and someone came along and said he was seen talking to one or the other at an auction, or that he had shown a house to one or the other while he worked in Real Estate he would be accused of lying on the stand. He knew he didn’t know her, but didn’t recall if he had ever talked to the lady before. He responded to a poor question as best he could.
No clarification. None. No attempt by Narozniak to clarify the following on redirect:
Henein: Did you know C-16’s mother before 2001?
Carson: When his thing surfaced
Carson: If that’s when it was.
And that was that! Mission accomplished, at least for those in the system who are comfortable sandbagging a witness and extrapolating testimony out of context.
The word would erroneously go down that Carson had multiple contacts with victims and their mothers before Leduc tral #1. And because Carson is Perry’s brother-in-law, and presumably ‘under the direction’ of Perry and in close contact with him, well, by illogical extension Perry tainted the witness and so on and so and so on.
(C) Justice Terrence Platana
On 13 September 2004 “they” were on a roll and after Perry again. Disclosure!! OPP officers arrived at the Dunlop’s Duncan, B.C. home at the crack of dawn.
In a 29 September 2004 note Perry advised Justice Platana that he had turned over everything he had to the Cornwall police in Spring 2000. Attached was a list of items disclosed to Platana.
On 10 November 2004 Justice Terrence Platana let Leduc “walk.” Platana claimed that contrary to what was previously known there was in fact a far more “extensive” relationship between Perry, Carson and C-16 and his family.
A few pertinent paras from Platana’s decision:
“In addition, the information before me as a result of the Defence application for production, establishes a far more extensive relationship between Dunlop, Chisholm, and the complainants in Mr. Leduc’s case than has previously been disclosed. The evidence of Mr. Chisholm in particular discloses, for the first time, repeated contacts with C-16’s mother…”
“…the fact that he attended her home and indeed, that he had contact C-17’s mother on more than one occasion.”
“The evidence before me now satisfies me that Mr. Chisholm has acted in close concert with, and under the direction of, Mr. Dunlop. The entire course of conduct of Dunlop and Chisholm was, in fact, in my view, properly and appropriately the subject matter of disclosure which should have been made. It is clear that if the evidentiary record that was before me had been available to the Defence at trial or, indeed, to the court of Appeal, that would have had a significant aspect in terms of the evidence before those courts on any stay of proceedings.”
What a travesty! Overseen by Crown attorney Lidia Narozniak, a travesty – orchestrated in joint agreement with Marie Henein to make Carson and Perry Crown witnesses vs defence witnesses – all to sandbag and allow Henein to have a good go at both in cross-examination.
Are we to believe that Platana – the same judge who refused to adjourn the August hearings to allow Perry to seek and retain a much needed lawyer – didn’t notice the problem with Carson’s cross-examination?
(Platana, by the way, was supposedly brought in to the Leduc “trial” #2 to ensure impartiality. Turns out Platana is married to a Cornwall area born and bred girl. His father-in-law was active in the community, a golfer, member of the Knights of Columbus and all.)
But, he did it. Platana let Leduc walk …with recourse to fallacious evidence, and on Perry’s weary back.
(C) Another dump on Perry
And look at the gyrations Narozniak went through at the inquiry to take this sandbagging and do yet another dump on Perry….
Commission counsel Karen Jones read an excerpt from the Statement of Facts in Henein’s 22 September 2004 factum to which Narozniak, as Crown, had given full agreement.
Here is the excerpt followed by the ensuing exchange:
“The Defence took the position that the Dunlop connection was not merely but a tangential conversation with [C-16’s] mother but was far deeper than that, citing Dunlop’s corruption of the integrity of witnesses in other cases. The Defence stated an intention to establish that there was a deeper connection between Dunlop and the witnesses in this case than had been shown.”
MS. NAROZNIAK: Yes.
MS. JONES: One of the questions that arises very commonly with regards to this whole situation and Mr. Dunlop’s involvement is that it would appear from the testimony of the alleged victims and complainants of Mr. Leduc that they did not actually have contact with Mr. Dunlop.
MS. NAROZNIAK: But what we discovered was that there was far more contact than we initially thought because it wasn’t just Mr. Dunlop that we were looking at. Mr. Dunlop, by his own testimony, asserted that he had a team, so to speak, of people that assisted him in examining or interviewing witnesses, including his wife, Helen Dunlop, and his brother-in-law, particularly Carson Chisholm.
And it was through Carson Chisholm’s evidence that we discovered how much more contact there was with the complainants’ parents. Given the age and the living situation of the majority of the complainants, the contact with parents was as equally relevant as direct contact with the complainants alone.
MS. JONES: Because you can understand that people looking at this from the outside would say, “Well, what relevance is it that someone other than Mr. Dunlop has contact with these people, first of all, and what relevance is it that Mr. Dunlop has behaved a certain way on other prosecutions, not this one”? But in this particular one Mr. Dunlop did not have any contacts, certainly with the complainants that took the stand and testified at the first trial.
MS. NAROZNIAK: Well, certainly according to the evidence of the complainants he did not, but Mr. Dunlop was a team, and Mr. Chisholm could be considered as Mr. Dunlop because both acknowledged that it was Mr. Dunlop that was directing the investigation and both acknowledged that there was a reporting back to Mr. Dunlop.
So certainly the evidence of the complainants alone that it was just — that there was no contact could not be left on its face. We had certainly far more information after the disclosure motion than anyone else had up to that time.
And as far as, you know, what relevance the other cases had to do with this particular case, quite frankly, if you have a so-called self-described investigator who victims have identified as being pushy and trying to embellish or fabricate evidence, that doesn’t stop at those other cases.
We have to be aware that this is a possibility that certainly has to be fleshed out at the trial to determine if there was any collaboration, collusion or tainting of evidence regardless of what the complainants say. Their declarations alone are not sufficient to meet the threshold during a trial.
Under cross examination by Henein regarding a para in Platana’s decision, Narozniak testified she agreed with him, and that he would have elicited his information from cross-examination:
MS. HENEIN: Can you just read along with me?
“What the evidence does clearly establish is that Mr. Dunlop’s contact with the complainants, while originally thought of in incomplete material before the Court of Appeal as being innocuous, is far from benign and far from innocuous.”
MS. NAROZNIAK: I came to the same conclusion.
MS. HENEIN: All right. So you agreed with the conclusion of Justice Plantana (sic)?
MS. NAROZNIAK: Yes, I did.
MS. HENEIN: And just so we’re aware what Justice Plantana (sic) had before him, he did have, in fact, the entire testimony of Mr. Dunlop.
MS. NAROZNIAK: Yes.
MS. HENEIN: And he had the opportunity to consider what the pattern of contact was with prior complainants?
MS. NAROZNIAK: He would have elicited that in the cross-examination, yes.
As an addendum, on 21 October 2004 OPP Colleen McQuade sent a letter to Cornwall Crown attorney Murray MacDonald.
The letter complimented Narozniak on her work on the Leduc prosecution. It seems the OPP felt Narozniak had done an excellent job.
Leduc “walked.” Perry was sand-bagged, drawn and quartered. Carson was sand-bagged. Narozniak allowed the record to go down with false information from which the most outrageous conclusions, allegations and accusations were and continue to be drawn.
And the OPP felt that Narozniak had done an excellent job?!!!
Perhaps she did? Perhaps it boils down to what side of the fence you’re on, right? Perhaps she did.
Narozniak said she agreed with Heinen to go for the sandbagging (not her words) because she wanted “a more efficient way of getting to the truth.”
And what is truth?
Enough for now,