Crown attorney accused of misleading judge to cover up for dirty cop
KITCHENER, ONT — A federal Crown attorney was accused Thursday of misleading a
judge in order to cover up for a dirty cop and trap thorn-in-the-side Toronto
defence lawyer Leora Shemesh into committing perjury.
Shemesh is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly telling
various lawyers that she had seen a “nanny cam” video of a Peel Regional Police
drug officer stealing money from a safe in her client’s home, and then allegedly
committing perjury by lying about it under oath.
Toronto defence lawyer Leora Shemesh is charged with perjury and
obstruction of justice. Her lawyer is asking to have the charges stayed. (COLIN
MCCONNELL / TORONTO
STAR FILE PHOTO)
The officer, Const. Ian Dann, initially denied stealing any
money but later claimed he had taken some cash to convert Shemesh’s client
into a confidential informant.
Her lawyer, Marie Henein, is arguing in pretrial motions that
Shemesh’s constitutional rights against self-incrimination were violated
when she was forced into the witness box under subpoena.
She is asking Superior Court Justice Gerald Taylor to stay
the charges before the trial begins in September.
On Thursday, Henein, for a second day, grilled Lois McKenzie,
a Brampton-based Crown working for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
McKenzie conducted the cross-examination of Shemesh that led to the perjury
charge after persuading Justice Bruce Durno her testimony was needed to
clear the air about the nanny cam video.
Henein is alleging prosecutors orchestrated a coverup to
protect Dann while trying to “catch” out the troublesome defence lawyer,
who, in an earlier case involving Dann, had already
exposed the police as courtroom liars.
“I’m going to suggest to you Ms. McKenzie that you
deliberately misled the court into thinking that Ms. Shemesh may have simply
made all of this up, this allegation of theft,” Henein said to McKenzie.
“I did not do that,” replied the prosecutor.
“You never tell the court, ‘she’s right he did take money’
... she’s not pulling this out of thin air, it is true, he took money,’”
Henein said. Nor did McKenzie tell Durno that Dann changed his story about
McKenzie agreed she did not but repeatedly insisted
prosecutors were concerned that disclosing any information would violate
confidential informant privilege, despite the fact the public prosecution
service had already concluded Dann’s confidential informant claim was bogus.
“I get your point that I haven’t told him (Durno) the two
versions of what we have but it wasn’t my intention to mislead, my focus was
on the fact that here was a video that could support or undermine the
officer’s position,” McKenzie said.
“When you’re making that submission you know there’s no
video,” Henein said following up. She noted that prior to testifying,
Shemesh’s lawyer told Durno she had never seen a nanny cam video of the
theft nor had she told anyone that she had.
After McKenzie testified that Dann’s “admission”about taking
the money was “separate and apart” from the nanny cam videotape, Justice
Taylor turned to her seeming perplexed.
“I just want to make sure I got this. What is on the video is
totally separate from the admission that Constable Dann took the money?” he
asked, adding, “Is that what you said?”
After McKenzie attempted to clarify, Taylor nodded and
instructed Henein to “carry on.”
The pretrial arguments resume Friday.
Betsy Powell is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and
court. Follow her on Twitter: @powellbetsy
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Ottawa is famous for "political prosecutions" and, also
Ottawa prosecutors, Ottawa Police and the worst of the worst,
the Ottawa Children's Aid Society orchestrating "cover ups".
As in the case above, it is one corrupt official after
another protecting the prior official who did something criminal.
Van T. Nguyen No. 952 fabricated evidence, and to
protect him, Samuel Wayne Smith No. 880 did the same. Then knowing that the
other two officers fabricated evidence,
Van Der Zander No. 1639, did the same.