Former RCMP officer's alleged perjury compared to Air India bomber
Crown argues ex-Mountie's explanations 'absurd'
The prosecutor handling the perjury case against former RCMP Cpl. Monty Robinson, likened the ex-Mountie to convicted liar and bomb maker Inderjit Singh Reyat.
Reyat was convicted of perjury in 2011 after he faced trial for his involvement in the Air India terrorism plot that killed 331 people.
Crown Scott Fenton drew the comparison between Robinson and Reyat in closing arguments at Robinson's trial Thursday.
Fenton read a paragraph from the B.C. Supreme Court decision sentencing Reyat to nine years in prison in which Justice Mark McEwan called Reyat, "untruthful … evasive and unresponsive."
Fenton told Justice Nathan Smith that "it's an important passage and it resonates on the proven facts in this case."
Robinson is facing one count of perjury in relation to eight lies he allegedly said at the Braidwood Inquiry in 2009. The Crown's not-so-subtle invocation of the worst mass murder in Canadian history capped off several hours of blunt language intended to convince Justice Smith that Robinson is guilty.
Calling Robinson's testimony "preposterous" and "absurd," Fenton lead Justice Smith through each of the allegations.
The Crown is relying heavily on the amateur video recorded in the early morning hours of Oct. 14, 2007 when Robinson and three other officers responded to a call at Vancouver International Airport.
The now familiar video shows the four Mounties arriving at the airport and wrestling with Robert Dziekanski on the ground after he was stunned with a Taser several times.
One of the allegations against Robinson is that he lied at the inquiry when he testified his knee "was nowhere near" Dziekanski's neck.
Although the quality of the video was at issue during the inquiry, because it was shot behind glass and events were sometimes obscured, Fenton described it in court as "clear and high quality".
It's "a silent trustworthy, unemotional and unbiased witness," Fenton told Justice Smith. "It's clear beyond any doubt that his knee is on Mr. Dziekanski's neck for a substantial period of time."
More than once, Justice Smith questioned the Crown's reasoning.
"When the accused makes a statement about what happened, and knows the commissioner can see the video … how do I infer an intention to mislead?" Smith asked.
"Because it was manifestly absurd and nonsense," Fenton replied.
Yet another allegation concerns Robinson's statement to investigators that "I put him out," when referring to Dziekanski. At the inquiry, Robinson insisted he didn't mean he was responsible for rendering Dziekanski unconscious.
Fenton argued Robinson's answers at the inquiry, "involve a completely illogical and untenable twist on the plain meaning of the words he used."
"His efforts to put a different meaning on his words are false and absurd," Fenton said.
However, Justice Smith again questioned Fenton's assertions, suggesting perjury requires proof that Robinson knew what he was saying was wrong.
"This is where I'm having trouble," Smith said. "If it's that obvious how could he reasonably expect it to be believed?"
The Crown acknowledges there has been no direct evidence for any of the allegations. The final reference to Reyat's conviction was intended to remind Justice Smith that no corroboration is needed.
Fenton did not mention that Len Doust, the special prosecutor who crafted the case against Reyat, also looked at the evidence against all four RCMP officers involved in Dziekanski's death.
In a confidential legal opinion that was never brought up at Robinson's trial, Doust concluded the evidence against the officers "does not likely amount to perjury."
Robinson's lawyer will make his closing arguments on Dec. 22.