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Wednesday, February 25, 2009 

Polish Authorities May Charge Mounties Who Killed Robert Dziekanski

Since Justice officials in British Columbia decided not to charge the four RCMP officers who killed Robert Dziekanski in the Vancouver airport before the official inquiry even began, it appears that authorities in Poland are considering their own charges.

"VANCOUVER–The lawyer for one of the RCMP officers scheduled to appear before the Taser inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski revealed this morning that the Polish government is considering questioning police for legal proceedings.

David Butcher, representing Const. Bill Bentley, filed a motion asking for restrictions on the official transcripts from the inquiry.

Butcher did not go into details on whether the officers have received notice but hinted that there are proceedings under way. [...] It's unclear whether the Polish government is seeking to charge the officers involved in the incident."

The Star

Testimony given by one of the RCMP officers at the Dziekanski hearing was challenged yesterday by the lawyer representing Mr. Dziekanski's mother. The officer stated under oath that Mr. Dziekanski was tasered because he had a stapler in his hand and the officer felt that his safety was threatened. Replay of the tape showed that Mr. Dziekanski did not have the stapler in his hand when the first electric jolt hit him, but picked it up as he reacted to the surge that hit him. Most media outlets have adopted the RCMP 'line' that the victim had a stapler in his hand at the time of the first jolt being administered. The film of the incident does not verify the RCMP version.

The RCMP officer also stated that he thought Mr. Dziekanski received 2 jolts from the taser while the tape shows that 5 were administered.

... twitter? ...

Hard to imagine how the Poles could claim jurisdiction over a death that occured on the far side of the planet. I can't see any Canadian court extraditing those guys (much as I'd like to).

If the 'Dziekanski 4' were to be charged by Polish authorities, I also doubt that Canadian authorities would extradite them. However, it any of the four were to ever travel to a country that recognizes Polish judicial authority, they likely would be extradited. I think of the case of Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, who was charged by Spanish authorities for killing Spanish nationals during his military coup in Chile in 1973. Pinochet was held in Britain on the Spanish charges. He was eventually returned +to Chile for trial by Chilean authorites.

So, in a nutshell, for Poland to lay charges, Canadian authorities would have to sit up and listen.

The tactics used by the RCMP and the whitewash by BC Crown prosecutors is disgraceful!

TMoS: Poland could potentially gain jurisdiction because he was a Polish national. It's not by any means a sure thing, but they do have a number of alternate means. They could go to Interpol and have an international arrest warrant made out for the four. Certainly travel anywhere in the EU would be out of the question.

leftdog, Dziekanski did have the stapler in his hand before being tasered. I watched some of the testimony yesterday and they went over that particular point a fair bit.

From your link, the cop is talking about the timeline of when Mr.Dziekanski lifted his arms over his head, with the stapler in hand. At first he said it was before being tasered, after watching the video, he agreed it was a reaction to the taser.

"An earlier witness, a limo driver who had a confrontation with Dziekanski just before police arrived and also saw him being stunned, said he didn't know whether Dziekanski lifted the stapler before or after.

Inquiry commissioner Thomas Braidwood ordered still pictures from the video to see if they could shed any light on what Dziekanski did with the stapler."
Canadian Press

It seems to me that you aren't sure if he had the stapler in his hand before being tasered. He did.

This is what what I saw in the video from the Inquiry. The cops approach and say something to Dziekanski, Dziekanski raises his arms quickly and brings them back down as he moves toward a desk. As he reaches the desk, you see the stapler and Dziekanski picking it up. He then turns around to face the cops. At this point, his arms are down. He is tasered just seconds after that, and that is when his arm goes up with the stapler in hand.

The limo driver and the cop are confused as to when they saw the stapler in the air.

just sharing what I saw.

It was obvious to me the first time I saw the video that Dziekanski seemed rather relieved to see the police and thought they could help him. He was going to his luggage to get out his passport and any papers that would help.I think.
Who wouldn't pick up something after being tasered, if they could?
It is deplorable that these 4 men have not simply admitted they made a huge miss take and that they have not made a deep and profound apology to the mother and everyone else.
Is there no justice?

Christian ... I am SURE! - He did NOT have the stapler in his hand when the Mounties tased him .... and stop for one second here .... 4 mounties, fully armed, felt threatened by a stapler and KILLED HIM? Let's put this whole thing back into focus ... a death squad killed him for no reason! The RCMP are obviously succeeding in trying to murky the waters by making a staple the issue!

leftdog, I'm not going to argue with you. I have seen the video, and if you watch this clip, the last 20 seconds, you clearly see the stapler in Mr.Dziekanski's hand.

And I agree with you all the way that these 4 imbeciles overreacted. I think they should have been charged, criminally. They were never in danger that morning. I wasn't trying to excuse their behavior. But you made a strong statement claiming Dziekanski did not have a stapler in his hand when he was first tasered. I was only passing you information I learned from watching some of the testimony. CBC.ca/bc is carrying it live. If I have offended you in any way, my apologies.

I do NOT see the stapler in his hand as the first jolt is given him. Neither did the Judge overseeing the inquiry who has ordered a series of still photos, frame by frame.

I am glad that you are not defending the RCMP in this matter.

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