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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Nothing has changed in customs area since Dziekanski's death, inquiry told

May 5, 2009
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A Canada Border Services official says little has changed in the way of policy since Robert Dziekanski's death at Vancouver airport.

Brian Hilton told the public inquiry into Dziekanski's October 2007 death that customs officials are still not allowed to release information about passengers to waiting family members.

And he says customs officials are only required to call interpreters when someone has been deemed inadmissable to Canada.

Dziekanski died on the airport floor, after he was stunned several times by an RCMP Taser. He'd wandered around lost for hours before his confrontation with police, unable to find his mother.

Walter Kosteckyj, the lawyer for Dziekanski's mother, asked Hilton how Dziekanski could sit for hours in the customs area without being helped by agency officers.

Hilton says there's no law against someone waiting for hours in the customs area.

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