VANCOUVER — An undercover terrorism sting involved thousands of dollars changing hands and officers promising access to guns and explosives, but the lead officer told a trial Wednesday that the operation was in no way meant to appear criminal.
RCMP Sgt. Bill Kalkat told B.C. Supreme Court that officers never encouraged John Nuttall to believe he was dealing with criminal elements.
Nuttall and his wife Amanda Korody were found guilty last June of plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature on Canada Day 2013. But the conviction hasn't been entered until a judge decides after this proceeding if police entrapped the pair during the undercover operation.
Amanda Korody and John Nuttall. (Photos: Flickr/CP)
"We never said we were al-Qaida, or that (the primary undercover officer) was a terrorist,'' Kalkat told the court.
"Nuttall might infer that it's a criminal organization. I don't know what he's thinking.''
Nuttall and Kordy's lawyers are arguing police manipulated them into attempting to carry out the terrorist act.
Early in the undercover operation, Nuttall was paid $200 to take an unmarked package to a transit-station locker in downtown Vancouver.
"Nuttall might infer that it's a criminal organization. I don't know what he's thinking.'' — Sgt. Bill Kalkat
He was later directed to transport another parcel, this time by taking a circuitous transit route, and leave the package in the trunk of an unlocked rental car. The court heard he was told to wait for further instructions inside a nearby department store.
"Would any of that behaviour be consistent with the notion that the package is legitimate and legal?'' asked Korody's lawyer Mark Jette.
Kalkat emphasized that Nuttall was always informed the contents of the packages were legal but admitted it would have been possible to interpret the operations as illegitimate.
Another scenario in the operation involved officers engaging Nuttall in a "loyalty talk'' before showing him $20,000 in cash being exchanged between undercover officers.
"I'm going to suggest to you, that you designed it that way because you wanted Nuttall to believe that (the primary undercover officer) was engaged in nefarious, probably illegal activities,'' said Jette.
"No, not that he's engaged in nefarious activities, but that he does have contacts and that he's engaged in business and that he has a source of income,'' Kalkat replied.
"We're showing Mr. Nuttall that we also have a sense of security and to some degree a sense of sophistication.''
Kalkat also said he "absolutely'' urged his officers to consider Nuttall developmentally delayed, telling the court that the police scenarios were designed to take Nuttall's mental capacity into account.
— Follow @gwomand on Twitter
Also on HuffPost