Hearings resumed at 0930 hours (9:30 am) this morning, Thursday, 22 January 2009. Shelley Hallett is back on the stand. Michael Neville has resumed cross-examination.
Neville was in full attack mode when we left off yesterday. His defence of Charlie at all costs continues.
Note in the Freeholder article of today a reference to Perry delivering documents to Shelley Hallett with the comment and that “Dunlop wanted to make sure the ‘top cop and top Crown attorney’ in Ontario knew about the ‘games’ that had been going on since 1993…”
To allay possible confusion mote that on 05 July 2000 27 June 2000Perry was attempting to deliver his Will Say (Will State) and other materials to the Ontario Attorney General and Solicitor General, that is who he is referencing with the terms “top cop” (solicitor General) and “top Crown” (Attorney general).
Also note the transcript is posted.
Three things I want to post before the day begins: (i) Some stats; (ii) Hallett’s impact statement; (iii) Hallett’s recommendations; and (iv) McKinnon’s conflicts.
According to Kozloff, since February 2006:
– The inquiry has sat for 314 days;
– 170 witnesses have testified;
– there are over 3,200 exhibits’;
– there are more than 60,000 pages of transcript;
– over 70,000 documents have been disclosed and are in the data bank; and
– there are in excess of 350,000 pages of documents.
(2) Shelley Hallett impact statement
“…the finding by Mr. Justice Chadwick that I had wilfully failed to disclose to the defence in the Leduc case, and the subsequent criminal investigation of me, did have a great impact on my life, both personal and professional
“……What I most regret at this point is the impact of Justice Chadwick’s finding on the complainants in the Leduc trial, whose testimony was obtained under the harshest circumstances.
“And I further regret the collateral impact that the Chadwick finding had on the Charles MacDonald prosecution and on the complainants in that case.
“And to those complainants on both of these prosecutions in which I was involved, I would like to say I am sincerely sorry about the outcome of both of those prosecutions.”
(3) Shelley Hallett Recommendations:
“I would simply ask you to consider an idea of mine which is not in any way fully developed. I have been too busy, frankly, with trying to read the documents in preparation for my testimony here to refine a raw idea that I’ve had for some time now.
“But I would like to read a few lines from the LeSage-Code report, which are the jumping-off points for my recommendation. And that is of course the report entitled, “Report of the Review of Large and Complex Criminal Case Procedures, authored by the Honourable Patrick J. Lesage and Professor Michael Code,” and the report is dated November of 2008.
“And I would refer to chapter 1 of the report, and in that chapter there is a discussion of the developments of the law that have had a huge impact on the smooth running of the criminal justice system. And these include the Charter and the seeking of remedies for breaches of Charter rights, reforms in the Law of Evidence, such as CON applications, and statutory reforms designed to protect the privacy of victims and witnesses and an example is given of the third-party record provisions in the Criminal Code.
“And the author suggests that the criminal justice system has not quite kept apace with these reforms, and I would like to read from pages 16 and 17 of the Report at this time, and I quote:
“‘The avalanche of new and complex legal procedures, whether from the Charter, from the evidence law revolution or from continuous statutory amendments,has created a system with too many difficult and nuanced decision points. It is hardly surprising that errors are made in this new legal environment.’
“And I go on to page 17, and I pick up on that page, and I quote:
“‘However, the significant reforms to the system summarised above have created many new opportunities for conflict. As already noted, the way in which certain rights and remedies have been defined in the case law seems calculated to increase the potential for personal attacks as between counsel.
“‘In other words, instead of calming down the inherently combative nature of the adversary system by fostering respect and collegiality and cohesion among the parties, the reforms of the modern era have contributed to an environment of greater animosity.
“‘This is a very serious development that must be stopped. When counsel attack each other on a personal level, the adversary system breaks down because nothing gets settled out of court. Every petty dispute is fought out in the courtroom in a hostile and provocative way, and the trial ceases to focus efficiently on the real issues in the case.”
“And I do underline that last clause; that ‘the trial ceases to focus efficiently on the real issues in the case,’ and I feel that this was the fallout and that the failure to continue to concentrate on the real issues in the case, in Leduc, was the result of an unfortunate attempt to resolve what was perceived as a Charter breach. I believe that as the Leduc case illustrates, there are high stakes involved in the allegations and determination of whether there has been a breach of the Charter right to disclosure in a criminal case. In turn, there is huge pressure on individual Crown counsel in these cases to make the right decision in terms of what is disclosed and the timing of the disclosure, and there are huge consequences when the wrong decision is made by that Crown counsel.
“I believe that this has resulted in the need for an overhaul of the disclosure mechanism in Ontario, and I have thought for some time that a single-window system for disclosure of criminal briefs to both counsel for the defence and the Crown is what should be developed. This would be a single window that both trial counsel — both, the Crown and defence counsel would go to, to receive the same set of materials and to lead evidence as they sit fit in their respective trials.
“On the other side of that window would be a multidisciplinary team, consisting of representatives from the police, the defence and the Crown, which would be responsible, particularly in complex cases, for going through the boxes of — containing the briefs and other materials in relation to the case and deciding upon disclosure and both at the beginning of the case and on an ongoing basis. And I believe that this kind of a system would create more of an even playing field for both of the trial counsel involved and would free up the individual Crown counsel in complex cases to concentrate on the issues in their cases, particularly the evidence of the complainants and how to introduce that evidence.
“I also believe that such a system would create less incentive for allegations of failing to disclose which have such high stakes in complex cases; in all criminal cases, in fact.
“So those are my respectful submissions to the tribunal at this time. As I say, it’s not a particularly refined recommendation in terms of how this would be implemented and what would be involved, but all I would say, I would call it the one-window — the single window system.”
(4) McKinnon’s conflicts
Under cross examination by Frank Horn (Coalition) asked Hallett when she first became aware of Justice Colin McKinnon’s conflict. Hallett stated that was on 19 February 2001 through Dick Nadeau. Hallett further stated she wished Nadeau had brought that to her attention earlier as it may have made a difference in the case.
MS. HALLETT: Well, it would have been on February the 19th. Excuse me, when Mr. Nadeau was called as the witness, the first witness for the Defence on the stay application, that would be February 19th of 2001, before he even testified, he made an assertion in court and produced some letters—
MR. HORN: M’hm.
MS. HALLETT: — to demonstrate that Justice McKinnon was in a conflict.
MR. HORN: That was the first time you knew about it?
MS. HALLETT: Yes, that was; and I’d wished that Mr. Nadeau had perhaps brought those to my attention at an earlier point in time. It might have made a difference in this case.
My recollection is that at the time Dick wrote “ The right to know is the bedrock of democracy” he knew only that McKinnon had previously provided legal counsel for the Cornwall Police Service and hence to its former Chief Claude Shaver. Here is the relevant section:
Judge Colin McKinnon is relatively new to the bench, some four years I think. He is said to be a good judge. But prior to becoming a judge, he had a successful law practice. He was in fact the lawyer for our former Chief of Police Claude Shaver. He knows all about the cover-ups over the Father Charlie/Ken Seguin affair. He knows about Cornwall’s troubles. He knows that Shaver is a pedophile and yet, had him as client. Did he check his biases and prejudices at the door?
I believe that at the Dick put this together he either did not yet know or had just received proof of the McKinnon connection to Perry. I know that the letters of proof were unearthed some time after the Leduc “trial” was off the ground. My thought is that they came onto the scene after Dick’s “Bedrock of Democracy” comments..
No matter, some thoughts….
Why did no one from the Cornwall Police Service step up to the plate with this information? When the word went out that McKinnon was taking the bench at the Leduc trial why, for example, did S/Sgt. Gary Derochie not alert Hallett that McKinnon had previously been involved with the Chief and Perry Dunlop?
Derochie knew. Why the silence?
Other CPS officers knew. Why the silence?
For that matter, why did those scrutinizing Dick’s website not did a little deeper? If they didn’t already know, why, when thet red that comment, did they not dig? Dick, after all, said McKinnon “was in fact the lawyer for our former Chief of Police Claude Shaver.” Why did not a scrutinizing soul pursue that allegation?
As for McKinnon, I believe it goes without saying that had he never put his bottom on the bench at the Leduc trial things would probably have been very different in Cornwall, not only at the Leduc “trial,” but at Charlie’s “trial.” It also goes without saying that things would have been different for Perry Dunlop, and Shelley Hallett, and the “alleged” victims of both Leduc and Charlie.
I recall the buzz in the courtroom at the Leduc “trial” was that if C-23 took the stand it was game over for Leduc.
C-23 never got to the stand.
My recollection is that C-23 is the son of someone of significance.
Neville is finished. Danielle Robitaille (Leduc) has started cross.
Enough for now,