POLITICS

RCMP perjury trial in Dziekanski case delayed after materials not found

10/23/2013 01:01 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
VANCOUVER - The perjury trial for the senior Mountie involved in Robert Dziekanski's death at Vancouver's airport has been delayed, less than a week before jury selection was set to begin.

Former corporal Benjamin (Monty) Robinson was scheduled to stand trial in mid-November to face charges that he lied during a public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. Jury selection was scheduled to start next Tuesday.

But Crown counsel Tony Paisana told a pre-trial conference on Wednesday that prosecutors have been unable to locate unspecified materials requested by the defence.

Paisana did not detail what those materials were, and outside court he declined comment.

Paisana asked that the jury selection and trial be cancelled, with another pre-trial conference scheduled in a month to provide an update.

Judge Nathan Smith granted the request.

It wasn't clear when the case will proceed to trial.

Robinson was among four RCMP officers who confronted Dziekanski at the airport in October 2007, the night the would-be Polish immigrant was stunned by a Taser and died.

All four officers were later charged with perjury for their testimony at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death, particularly when they explained alleged discrepancies between an amateur video of the incident and what they had originally said in their statements and police notes.

Const. Bill Bentley was acquitted of perjury earlier this year, though the Crown is appealing that acquittal.

Trials for two other officers — Const. Kwesi Millington and Const. Gerry Rundel — are scheduled for early next year.