Hearings resume at 9 am (09:00 EST) tomorrow morning (Friday 29 June 2007). Ron Leroux’ cross-examination has barely started and will continue. Justice Glaude had hoped to have things wrapped up by noon so everyone could be in their cars, planes and trains and homeward bound for the summer break. I doubt that will happen.
Trying to clarify the recantation of the “hit”
As it stands at the end of a long day Justice Glaude has asked to see two video-taped interviews of Ron, one I believe conducted by Perry and his lawyer, the other by the Ontario Provincial Police. He also wants an audio tape played. This decision was prompted after Allan Manson got into his cross –examination and was attempting to sift his way through Ron’s recantation of all past testimony regarding the ‘hit’ on Perry which includes the VIP meeting on Stanley Island. I believe Manson is trying to sort out if Ron will continue to imply or accuse Perry of fabricating the death threat allegations, or might perhaps say he himself fabricated it, an outcome akin to the candles in the altar boys bottoms scenario.
Confusing? Yes. And it’s as hard to explain and recap as it is to follow. If you have time, read the transcipts 🙂
Anyway, Allan Manson (Citizens for Community Renewal) is trying to work his way through that. Manson has a transcript of a phone conversation between Perry and Ron in which Perry had obviously previously been told that there is a ‘hit’ on him and essentially asks if Ron has doubts they ‘they’ would kill him. Ron says “No, none whatsoever.” That was a taped conversation. In it Ron clearly shows that he had knowledge of a death threat, and Perry specifically turns to Ron for further information. But Ron now says he never said anything to Perry about death threats. Now what? It was this line of questioning which eventually led Glaude to ask to see and hear these tapes. And I must say good for Glaude. Let’s see the tapes and see how Ron presented himself and hear the intonations in his voice and so on. Transcripts never come close to capturing the moment.
The videos will be aired via webcam. I gather it will take a bit of technical fiddling to get things set up but they will be aired in whole or in part sometime tomorrow.
Strange too that Ron is now denying any knowledge of Ken Seguin’s personal porn collection. He says any young lads around the place were ‘of age’ – 18 – perhaps the younger ones might have been 16 – but there were no minors. He seems to know nothing of the camera he used to say Ken had set up on the dresser in his, Ken’s, bedroom.
Truly, the recantations are endless and significant. I will need to go through the transcripts to sort out where exactly we are at and what exactly Ron’s testimony is. I’ve found that it’s a case of if I answer the phone or the door I may have missed one or a multitude of corrections or alterations which might have change the entire thrust of the all his preceding testimony. It really is that bad.
He was even saying that as far as he was concerned Perry was never worried about the death threats or planned ‘hit’ which Ron now says never was. And he even went so far as to say Perry couldn’t have been too concerned about it because he,Perry, stayed in Cornwall!
This is all a little surreal. Has Ron been threatened? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Is anyone at the Weave Shed looking into that possibility? Surely someone in there smells enough of a rat here to find out? Or, has there been some sort of a deal? I don’t know what kind of a deal, but something which would influence him to change his testimony so radically? Something has happened. A few of the usual discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimony of a witness with umpteen statements and transcripts to his name is to be expected, but not these major recantations. I’m not sure that recantation is the right word, but for lack of a better word that’s what I’ll call them.
Something has happened. Ron has radically changed not only what he told Perry Dunlop and the Ontario Provincial Police, but what he’s been telling a lot of people for years – and there was no Perry Dunlop or Charles Bourgeois forcing him to say it, an inference he has made several times since he took the stand. In fact he was saying the things he has now recanted well after Perry Dunlop was gone from Cornwall.
Has he been threatened? I suppose that’s my biggest concern and question. Is his life in danger? If that’s not the case, then there’s some sort of deal, and if that’s the case, with whom? and what’s the pay-off? I hate to think that, but I don’t know what else to think -truly significant segements of Ron’s testimony have undergone a radical metamorphosis.
And then there’s the 27 December 2004 statement which Ron signed off for Ken Seguin’s brother Doug and which Doug brought to the Weave Shed yesterday and which was entered into evidence. It seems it makes reference to Garry Guzzo. Why and how I don’t know. The portion which was read into evidence is:
“I, Ron Leroux, never stated that K.S. said to me he was under investigation for sexual assault and that these tapes would clinch an investigation against him.
Being a friend and neighbour of Ken’s I never at any time witnessed any tapings or any young boys under the [age]of 16 (his home)
Ron testified that Doug dictated the statement word for word. He said that he signed the statement because Seguin was “stalking” him and he thought if he signed it he’d get rid of him.
Where does this factor in? Or does it?
And then there’s the matter of his state of mind. Is he emotionally fit to be testifying? It’s an arduous challenge for any victim to take the stand, I believe more so for a victim with such key and contested testimony as Ron’s, and more particularly still when he is going to recant huge and significant portions of the testimony he has consistently given to countless people in the past. Was he mentally geared for this? From what I see and hear, I don’t think so. I wonder too what impact this might or will this have on his emotional well-being? I have deep concerns that downstream it will be disastrous,that he will be devastated when he sees the aftermath and realizes what he’s done. Does anyone care? I mean care what impact this will have on Ron? And, I really must add yet again, who decided that Ron of all people doesn’t need a lawyer?
The List of Untouchables
I sensed a few breathless moments in the Weave Shed yesterday when Ron introduced the names of a few people during his testimony. They names are those of persons I sometimes jokingly refer to as the untcouchables: Untouchables because it seems that in the eyes of the powers that be anyone who rubs shoulders with them is instantly a conspirator conspiring a conspiracy.
It went like this:
Two more names were tossed into the hat and added to the list: John MacDonald and Steve Parisien. Ron testified that both men asked him at different times either if he had spoken to Helen Dunlop or to give Helen a call. In Cornwall such simple conversations morph into conspiracy. So,…throw John and Steve into the hat and add them to the list of the untouchables.
Ron gave Helen a call. He testified that she asked how he was doing, how his mother was and if he was going to testify at the inquiry and if he did not to change his story. What that will morph into who knows? But, Helen is as close to the top of the list of untouchables as a person who isn’t Perry Dunlop can get so I suppose what telling a victim to tell the truth morphs into really doesn’t matter.
And then there’s Sylvia. That’s me. Ron said John MacDonald asked him three times to call Sylvia MacEachern. Asked why, he was told “she wants to talk to you.”
So, count me in. I have no shame or fear of saying that I often ask people from Cornwall if they’ve seen Ron and if they have I typically ask how he looks and how he’s doing, particularly since his mother’s death. I also ask them to say “Hi” for me if they see him and tell them to ask him to give me a dingle sometime. Where asking after the well-being of a victim will place me in the mix and on the list I don’t exactly know, but the powers that be will find a spot and have it ready and waiting for me, of that I’m sure :).
Finally, a name that’s already in the hat: Carson Chisholm. Ron says he talked to Carson and Carson encouraged him testify. An obviously incredulous Peter Engelmann replied: “ Sorry, who’s this that’s encouraging you to testify: Carson Chisholm?”
Carson, like Helen, is pretty high on the list. That probably means that it doesn’t much matter what encouraging a victim to testify will morph into.
And, at the end of the day, all I can say is I’m in good company 🙂
Late late late. I wanted to catch the transcripts to see what that Ron Leroux/Doug Seguin statement has to say. Time flies. I must call it a day. 9 am will be here in the blink of an eye 🙂
Enough for now,