Christopher Phillips interrogation video reviewed as trial continues
Two more days set aside for case
Christopher Phillips's trial continued in Nova Scotia Supreme Court Thursday morning as the trial resumed.
Phillips, 42, is accused of uttering threats against police and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon — osmium tetroxide. The chemical can be absorbed through skin and can be lethal.
Phillips has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
His trial was supposed to wrap up last Friday but it has taken longer than expected to get through Crown evidence, so today and tomorrow were added to the trial dates.
Phillips was arrested in an Ottawa hotel in January after her wife forwarded emails to police and a search was conducted on three Nova Scotia properties.
An RCMP forensics expert testified earlier in Phillips' trial that officers found 510 different chemicals that could be used to make 11 different homemade explosives when they searched a property in Grand Desert, N.S.
Court views interview tape
The trial has also heard from Phillips' wife Gosia, who testified she was concerned their children might get into the chemicals. She said all she wanted police to do was remove them.
The court also viewed a lengthy interrogation that Halifax-based police conducted with Phillips in Ottawa, shortly after his arrest.
Two officers from Halifax conducted the interview.
For the first 30 minutes, Phillips was left alone in the interview room. When police finally entered the room, once officer delivered what amounts to a monologue, while Phillips sat with eyes closed.
In the interrogation, Det. Tony Blencoe of Halifax Regional Police said media "grossly overplayed it," when referring to the national manhunt and high-profile arrest.
"A simple little road trip to clear your mind has now turned into some very good national news," Blencoe said.
Trip to Ottawa
Finally, more than 40 minutes after Blencoe started talking, Phillips spoke for the first time.
"You guys do understand that I had to pick up some vehicle ramps and some storage boxes I purchased from the Canadian government?"
Phillips went on to explain that he had purchased some surplus government materials from a website and had driven to Ottawa in a rented cube van to pick them up.
Phillips then told officers his legal training made him think he should stop talking.
"I don't care much about talking but I will talk when it comes to officer safety," he said.
"I wanted you guys to know that 'Why is this guy going to Ottawa?' Well, you guys can verify it yourself, pretty easily, to purchase stuff from the Canadian government."
Phillips again hesitates about talking any further. "I'd rather just sit here and keep my mouth shut," he said.
Throughout most of the interrogation, Phillips is very soft-spoken and difficult to hear on the audio recording.
Chemical more valuable than gold or platinum
"I'm not saying I'll answer all questions. I don't think I'll answer any questions," he said it one point.
Eventually, Blencoe draws Phillips into a lengthy discussion about his analysis of police breathalyzers.
Police manage to steer the conversation back to the case against him.
"That chemical, what is it used for?," Blencoe asked. "What does that chemical help you do?"
""That chemical is probably the most efficient oxidizer, works in the mildest conditions," Phillips said. He then launches into a very involved discussion of chemical testing techniques. The two officers say very little as Phillips talks.
He describes osmium tetroxide as being more valuable than gold or platinum.
Shortly after the interrogation, police loaded Phillips into an RCMP plane and flew him back to Halifax. He's been in jail ever since.