“Explosive” information

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The Nadler letters contain “explosive” information. So say the lawyers who read the newly disclosed letters this morning (15 August 2007).

The first question to be addressed by Justice Glaude now is should he see the letters? If yes, when? The other issue currently under debate is should arguments regarding Ron Leroux’ return or non-return to the stand be held in camera or in public? Those arguments apparently will made based on the content of the letters and the letters allegedly contain information about Ron which is personal and private.

As things stood when the gathered throng recessed for lunch Glaude had decided he would not review the letters until all arguments on that particular issue were heard. After everyone has had his/her say he may then decide to review the letters and then determine how to proceed with arguments about Ron’s future or fate as witness. At this time a number of parties have favoured disclosure of the letters to Glaude and a few have misgivings. Some believe the next round of arguments should be held in camera, some are opposed.

Those arguments will resume this afternoon.

Whatever is in the letters it has caused a royal stir. Those who have spoken to the matter were visibly taken aback by whatever they read. Here’s a sampling:

David Sheriff-Scott (the Diocese and Bishop Eugene Larocque) said he was “still reeling from reading all of this” and must consult his clients on how to address the situation.

An impassioned John Callaghan (Cornwall Police Service) says the letters contain not just medical opinion but “explosive stuff about he conduct of the inquiry here” and lots of “allegations” which have nothing to do with Ron’s medical state. He believes the information should have come out and that it may be necessary to put Dr. Nadler “in the box.” He too wants to discuss the matter with his client.

Diane Lahaie (Ontario Provincial Police) agrees the letter contents are explosive. She believes that if Justuce Glaude is to read them he should put Dr. Nadler on the stand and subject to cross-examination. She also recommends Glaude order an independent medical assessment of Ron.

Helen Daley (Citizens for Community Renewal) believes it is “imperative” that Glaude read the letters. She believes they should be treated as confidential but also believes it is important that “the community” have an idea of the contents.

Dallas Lee (Victims Group) believes Justice Glaude should “definitely” read the letters. He favours in camera arguments the contents of the letters are very personal and intimate.

Another lawyer whose name I didn’t catch believes is concerned about Glaude seeing the contents of the letters because some allegedly relates to what he has already heard in evidence.

William Carroll (Ontario Provincial Police Association) has no problem with Glaude seeing the letters but feels the need to consult an “expert” on the way ahead from there. He suggested in camera hearings on an interim basis.

Stephen Sharbach (Attorney General) recommends Glaude read the letters and decide after that whether or not to go in camera.

It seems that in addition to the five Nadler letters referenced by Peter Engelmann there is yet another letter. Who it was addressed to and when it was dispatched is unknown. Engelmann learned of this letter this morning. It also seems that Dr. Nadler disclosed the letter to Ron’s Ottawa-based lawyer Pradeen Chand this morning which left Chand in a bit of pickle.

Although no lawyer was in the Weave Shed while he testified the law firm which has presumably been representing Ron Leroux is the London-Ontario-based Harrison Pensa. Harrison Pensa was asked to have a lawyer at the Weave Shed this morning, hence it seems the appearance of Mr. Pradeen Chand from the Ottawa-based law firm Lang Michener.

Chand seemed ill-prepared. Indeed, after losing his argument that the Nadler letters should not be disclosed to all parties with standing he appeared at the podium within minutes and proceeded to read from what seemed to be a prepared text. Was this something dispatched from London Ontario by email? Or was it something he had prepared and planned to read in the event that he lost his argument? Whatever the case, he lost the argument and reading a prepared text in the heat of the moment did nothing to assure me that Ron has a “damn good” lawyer. Perhaps he will shine this afternoon?

Like everything else at the Weave Shed this latest debacle is confusing++. I understood that Harrison Pensa had initially agreed to disclosure of the Nadler letters. For some reason or other that position apparently changed. Then, at the 11th hour Nadler disclosed a sixth letter Chand this morning, a letter which Enegelmann has not seen and Chand does not want to disclose to Peter Engelmann or anyone else – but he apparently does want to rely on its contents to argue that Ron Leroux is not fit to continue his cross-examination!

It seems that if indeed Chand plans to rely on the undisclosed letter in any way shape or form he will have to disclose it, at least to Engelmann. Seems to me it should be disclosed regardless, but, I’m not a lawyer 🙂

And that’s where it’s at. Another major fiasco at the Weave Shed. Aside from getting Ron off the stand whatever is at the heart of those letters is certainly throwing a massive and possibly permanent wrench into the inquiry machinery.

Hearings resume at 14:00 hrs (2 pm, 15 August 2007). Things will definitely proceed on air. Whether or not we the public are eventually excluded from proceedings at this “public” inquiry remains to be see. We sadly and far too frequently are….

Enough for now,

Sylvia
(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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