Mounties in Dziekanski case get August court date
The first court appearance for four RCMP officers charged with perjury for their testimony at the public inquiry into Robert Dziekanski's death has been put off until August.
Const. Bill Bentley, Const. Kwesi Millington, Const. Gerry Rundell and Cpl. Benjamin Robinson were scheduled to make their first appearance Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, but the Crown defence lawyers asked for an adjournment until Aug. 31.
The four officers confronted Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport in October 2007. Millington fired his Taser multiple times, and the would-be Polish immigrant died on the floor of the international terminal shortly after.
The Mounties each appeared at a public inquiry in 2009, telling commissioner Thomas Braidwood they feared for their safety when Dziekanski, who had been throwing furniture before the officers arrived, picked up a stapler.
Braidwood, a retired appeal court judge, rejected the officers' testimony in his final report, concluding there was no reason to stun Dziekanski and that the officers could not have believed he posed a danger to anybody.
The Crown initially declined to charge the officers in Dziekanski's death, but Braidwood's report prompted the provincial government to send the case back to a special prosecutor for a second look.
Special prosecutor Richard Peck did not recommend charges related to the physical confrontation that preceded Dziekanski's death, but last month he approved the perjury charges.
The case against the officers is proceeding by direct indictment, skipping a preliminary inquiry.