Here’s a few pictures from Iqaluit, Nunavut to give you a feel for (1) the courtroom and (2) the courthouse where the sex abuse trial of Father Eric Dejaeger is ongoing (December 2013), and (3) the detention centre where Father Eric Dejager has been housed for the past three years
(1) The Courtroom
Below – with many thanks thanks to my dear friend with whom I travelled to Iqaluit – a rough diagram of the courtroom in Iqaluit where Father Eric Dejaeger stood trial.
Click on each photo to enlarge.
Note the difference in the courtroom layout in Nunavut: the witness faces the judge, and the tables at which both Crown and defence teams sit are angled toward the witness stand vs facing the judge and witness with back to courtroom observers. With the seating as it is in Nunavut observers seated in the right spots can see the defendant’s face throughout the trial, and can also watch the lawyers. The witness can be seen only from the back barring those times when he/she turns sidewise to speak directly to the Crown, defense lawyer or defendant.
The wooden entrance dividers are actually replicas of qumatiks (Sleds) a common sight in the North.
I was told that the Inuit decided to have the witness stand situated as is in Nunavut courtrooms because of a their belief that a person can not lie if they look someone in the eye. While I didn’t like seeing only the backs of the witnesses, I did like the idea that the judge can readily see the facial expressions and posture of the witness as he/she testifies. The layout makes sense. (In jury trials the jury box is on the left – to the left of the interpreters bench
In the Dejaeger trial there are three Crowns handling the case. Douglas Curliss, a prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada Regional Office in Saskatoon, is the lead prosecutor. Mr. Curliss is assisted by Scott Hughes of Iqaluit, and Barry Nordine, formerly of Iqaluit and now of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Occasionally all three are at the table, sometimes two, and sometimes only the one who is conducting the examination in chief.
Malcolm Kempt, the lawyer defending Father Dejaeger, shares the defence table with his client. Mr. Kempt seems to be handling the case alone ( Often in a case of this magnitude the defense has assistants.)
(2) The courthouse
The picture to the Left is taken from the steps of the courthose. That’s a glimpse of the very frozen Frobisher Bay above the housing to the mid left of the picture. The picture to the right is, of course, the courthouse.
The following pictures are of the beautiful art work adorning the side of a building facing the courthouse. I have trouble calling it grafitti. Father Eric Dejager can feast his eyes on these as he is shuttled to and from the courthouse
(3) The detention centre
The next series of pictures show the Baffin Detention Centre where Father Eric has been housed for the past three years. Note the stilts. All homes and buildings in Iqaluit are built on stilts. There are no basements. The second picture shows the ramp and stairs at the rear of the detention centre which Father Eric Dejaeger walks every time he is whisked to and from the courthouse. Those are ravens perched on the wire. There are ravens everywhere. They are pretty big :).
I will post a few more pictures of Iqaluit and the beautiful rugged terrain separately.
For those who may have missed it yesterday, here’s a link to my account of the testimony of “Darren” from 04 December 2013:
11 December 2013: BLOG Such a brave little boy
Enough for now,