Mountie charged in fatal B.C. collision
One of the officers involved in the fatal confrontation with Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport has been charged with attempting to obstruct justice in connection with a fatal car accident.
Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson was off duty when his vehicle collided with a motorcycle in October 2008 in Delta, B.C., killing Orion Hutchinson, 21.
Delta police had recommended a charge of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death, but the Crown said the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for those charges had not been met.
"Following a detailed analysis of the results of a comprehensive police investigation, the Criminal Justice Branch has concluded that no Criminal Code driving-related charged will be laid against Cpl. Robinson," a statement from the branch said.
The Crown said the charge of attempting to obstruct justice is based on alleged actions by Robinson after the collision. As the matter is now before the courts, the Crown declined further comment.
Delta police forwarded their report to the Crown in June.
RCMP orders hearing
Robinson was suspended with pay following the crash and RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields said Tuesday the suspension continues.
Shields said an internal code of conduct investigation was ordered after the accident, but that investigation will not proceed until the criminal case has concluded.
"We have to wait until the court proceedings are over and then we will hold the adjudication hearing where the final discipline will be decided upon," he said. "It only makes sense to wait until all the evidence has come in during the court process before that final disciplinary hearing is held."
The motor vehicles branch suspended Robinson's driver's licence for 90 days following the crash — a suspension he appealed without success.
The officer argued in B.C. Supreme Court in March that a motor vehicles adjudicator didn't properly consider his statement that he left the scene of the collision, had two shots of vodka and then returned to the scene.
Robinson is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 8 on the obstruction charge. His lawyer, Reg Harris, said Robinson will plead not guilty to the charge.
"Any criminal charge is a significant event for anybody, so it's hugely significant that he's now facing a criminal charge," Harris said.
Robinson was the most senior of the four RCMP officers involved in a confrontation with Dziekanski at Vancouver airport in October 2007, during which the Polish immigrant was shocked with a Taser and died.
Robinson testified at a public inquiry earlier this year that he gave the order to use the Taser.