You may have arrived here via a direct link to a specific post. To see the most recent posts, click HERE.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Taser inquiry delayed

September 20, 2008
Tim Lai, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER - The next phase of the Braidwood inquiry into police use of Tasers has been delayed for three weeks to give Crown counsel more time to review the RCMP's investigation into the death of Robert Dziekanski and decide whether to press charges against the officers who used the Taser.

The inquiry was scheduled to start Oct. 20, but has been postponed to Nov. 12. It will run now until Dec. 5 before resuming on Jan 19 for as long as necessary to conclude the inquiry.

B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal appointed Thomas Braidwood to head the inquiry in February to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of Dziekanski, who died shortly after he was Tasered by RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007.

Braidwood said in a news release that Crown counsel Art Vertlieb was told by RCMP lawyers that RCMP officers would not be in a position to participate until there was a decision made on charges. He added it would be important to the commission that it hear directly from the RCMP officers involved in the case.

A decision on charges is expected by the second week of October.

Braidwood said the postponement was necessary to balance the needs of the criminal justice system with the need to move the inquiry forward.

The retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice actually heads two commissions. The "study" commission held hearings earlier on the use, safety and effectiveness of Tasers in the province by forces other than the RCMP, while the "hearing" phase will look into the death of Dziekanski.

The hearing commission may make a finding of misconduct or make a report that alleges misconduct.

The hearings will be held in Vancouver.

No comments: