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RCMP officer involved in Dziekanski death wants perjury allegations withdrawn

01/27/2015 01:02 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT
One of the four RCMP officers accused of lying at the Braidwood Inquest into the death of Robert Dziekanski has asked the court to withdraw perjury allegations against him.

Glen Orris, the lawyer for Const. Gerry Rundel says the Crown's theory that all four colluded to explain discrepancies in their statements "doesn't make sense."

Rundel, his lawyer said, has no motive to lie.

On Monday, Orris reminded B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper that it was Rundel who seized amateur video of the incident from bystander Paul Pritchard, minutes after Dziekanski died on the floor of Vancouver International Airport in 2007.

"If you say these people are gonna get together to cook up a story when Mr. Rundel already knows there's a video of the whole thing...it doesn't make any sense", Orris said.

Rundel facing one count of perjury

Rundel is facing one count of perjury related to allegations that he lied six times when he testified in 2009 at the inquiry into Dziekanski's death.

Initially Rundel told homicide investigators Dziekanski had "picked up the stapler" and held it "up above his head" before Const. Kwesi Millington fired the Taser.

At the inquiry 16 months later, Rundel testified that's how he remembered it at the time, but the speed of the event caused him to mistakenly merge Dziekanski's arms flailing after he was stunned, with how the Polish immigrant appeared just before.

Prosecutor Tony Paisana told the judge the Crown alleges Rundel's explanation at the inquiry for the discrepancy was a lie.

"We say he must have known his statement was inaccurate, and exaggerated Mr. Dziekanski's level of threat", Paisana argued.

The Crown's theory is that all four Mounties agreed to magnify the threat posed by Dziekanski, to justify their use of force.

Orris argued there's no evidence Rundel was in any way concerned about his use of force.

"The only force Mr. Rundel uses is an attempt to handcuff Mr. Dziekanaski."

Defence says Crown can't show corroboration

Orris has asked Justice Gropper to toss out one or more of the allegations on the grounds the Crown has provided no evidence for them.

In particular, Rundel is alleged to have met with his former partners to make sure each gave corroborating testimony.

The Crown's only witness is the former spouse of the cousin of one of the officers.  

Janice Norgard has repeatedly testified the secret meeting took place on a weekend morning in her house in Richmond, just before the inquiry began.

The Crown admits that a police forensic examination of relevant computers and digital devices, along with scrutiny of  hundreds of emails, text messages and phone records yielded nothing to support the claim.

Flight records from Air Canada suggest two of the four officers now based in Ontario weren't even in B.C. when the meeting is alleged to have occurred.

Crown believes officers held secret meeting

The Crown now says those officers could have secretly flown back to B.C. on some other airline.

Orris called the new tack "pure speculation".

Orris argued the allegation can't be allowed to stand.

"The Crown obligation is not to preclude the possibilities. They have to prove their case". 

Justice Gropper is expected to rule on Wednesday whether any of the allegations against Rundel should be withdrawn.

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