Top court won't review findings of Stonechild inquiry

The Supreme Court of Canada won't review the findings of a public inquiry that implicated Saskatoon police in the 1990 death of aboriginal teenager Neil Stonechild.

The findings of a public inquiry that implicated Saskatoon police in the death of aboriginal teenager Neil Stonechild will not be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In a decision released Thursday without comment — as is the norm — a three-judge panel of the court rejected an application for a hearing by two police officers contesting the inquiry's conclusions.

Justice David Wright found in his 2004 report that police officers Larry Hartwig and Brad Senger had the 17-year-old Stonechild in custody the last night he was seen alive in 1990. He was later found frozen to death in a field on the outskirts of the city.

Hartwig and Senger were never charged and have always denied they had Stonechild in custody before he died.

Hartwig's lawyer has argued the inquiry had no right to make that finding, nor the finding that Stonechild's injuries appeared to have been caused by handcuffs.

Hartwig and Senger, along with the Saskatoon City Police Association, contended Wright exceeded his mandate, acted unconstitutionally and reached the wrong conclusions about the testimony of key witnesses, and they wanted Wright's conclusions officially struck from the record.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejected those claims earlier this year and upheld the findings of the inquiry.