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Robert Dziekanski Taser death: Kwesi Millington sentencing hearing begins

05/07/2015 05:46 EDT | Updated 05/07/2016 05:59 EDT
The mother of Robert Dziekanski told the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Thursday that if not for the 10-minute video recording that showed her son being Tasered by police officers, "no one would have known the truth."

Zofia Cisowski was reading a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Const. Kwesi Millington, the police officer who was found guilty in February of this year of perjury and colluding with his fellow officers before testifying at the inquiry into the Polish immigrant's death.

Cisowski was allowed to read her statement by Judge William Ercke, despite objections from Millington's lawyer, who argued that she was not a victim of the perjury trial under the definition contained in the Criminal Code.

Cisowski said that the perjury committed by Millington had made a "huge impact on my financial and emotional well-being."

She added that the police officers involved in her son's death had never expressed remorse or apologized to her.

The Crown is asking for 18 to 36 months in jail for Millington, whose perjury, they said, was "planned and deliberate" and took place across a period of three days. It was not, the Crown argued, an emotional, knee-jerk response.

Millington fired his Taser multiple times after he and three other officers were summoned over calls that Dziekanski, who spoke no English, had been throwing furniture in the international terminal at Vancouver International Airport in 2007.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled in February that Millington "patently" lied at the Braidwood inquiry into the fatal confrontation.

In March, another of the four officers involved, Const. Monty Robinson, was also convicted of perjury. He is yet to be sentenced.

The remaining two officers charged with perjury, constables Gerry Rundel and Bill Bentley, have both been acquitted.

Braidwood findings 'flawed'

Rundel — who was acquitted last month — was in court Thursday, offering, he said, his support to Millington.

He also handed out a written statement regarding the court action against all four officers. The statement calls for the RCMP to publicly back their officers "when they act according to training, policy and procedure."

Rundel suggests that the Crown was "permitted to lay charges on only a theory," which has "caused these prosecutions to be convoluted, lengthy and costly."

The notion that all four officers colluded within a minute of the Tasering of Dziekanski, despite being aware of dozens of witnesses and the fact the incident had been caught on video, "not only defies common sense, it defies logic," he states.

"Justice [Thomas] Braidwood's findings were flawed and not supported by the evidence," he concludes.

The sentencing hearing for Millington is not expected to conclude today.

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