Trial, Week 12: Summary - October 11


WEEK 12: OCTOBER 7 - OCTOBER 11, 1996

   * Day 54: Monday, October 7         * Day 57: Thursday, October 10
   * Day 55: Tuesday, October 8        * Day 58: Friday, October 11
   * Day 56: Wednesday, October 9


Edited by Roz Royce and Trond Halle, from notes by Trond Halle (Defendant)

Posted by FreeMedia

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1996 - DAY 58

Abbreviations used in notes:

DC = Don Campbell (Defense)
SF = Shelagh Franklin (Defense)
GW = George Wool (Defense)
ST = Sheldon Tate (Defense)
MA = Manuel Azevedo (Defense)
HR = Harry Rankin (Defense)

LB = Lance Bernard (Crown)
JF = Jennifer Fawcus (Crown)

J = Judge

Jury in. Staff Sgt. Peter Marsh (PM) back on witness stand.

ST - PM says qualified snipers were Hodgkin, Mike Arnold, Duplantie and PM. PM not sure if Arnold was there throughout all of event. Radio designation of "red sniper" referred to PM and Hodgkin in the forward position. They were selected because of their firearms skills. "Yes, I'm a capable shot, if that's what you're asking."

PM confirms that he heard on radio that red truck was coming. He agrees that he wasn't able to make a positive identification of the two people seen walking in the morning. When truck went past, PM agrees that he can't say for sure that people inside were the same he saw walking earlier. ST suggests that he came to this conclusion from Eye in the Sky reports. PM says that he heard that two armed males had got into the truck.

PM says that the communications were very poor on the 11th, but agrees that he never made any comments on the air about the poor communications. ST says that the radio log indicates that something happens at about 10 o'clock involving people moving along the road near PM's position. PM agrees that he presumes that he would have been aware of the people. ST reads from a transmission from G1 to F2 of a person being spotted 150 metres south of Lion. Someone following that transmission says that the two people are friendlies from the Vancouver team. PM suggests that maybe the people speaking on the radio had seen him. ST points out that PM was on Tiger, not Lion. PM doesn't recall the transmission.

Another transmission following says that the sighting of the friendlies will compromise them. PM doesn't know how an aircraft spotting the RCMP would compromise them. He never heard this.

ST reads later transmissions of a person moving north of Lion and Tiger near log, 15-20 feet off road in trees. PM doesn't recall seeing anyone else on the road except the two people seen much earlier. He says there were no other officers north of his position. ST suggests that PM has forgotten what he had and hadn't noticed. PM maintains that he doesn't know who made the observations, but he knows what he saw.

Another transmission notes that two males are seen, one with a pink shirt. PM doesn't recall this. Reference to "VPB" means nothing to him. PM suggests it could be a typo. "VCB" means visual contact broken. More transmissions of males near car and trunks being opened. Means nothing to PM.

PM confirms the observations he made were at 11:15 hours of two people walking. ST suggests that the previous transmissions occurred at the same time, but PM says he can only say what he saw and he already has said that. The only thing he remembers is of two armed males getting into truck.

Transmission of 11:33 hours says that cammo male is walking. Takes off pink shirt. One has weapon with a large clip. PM agrees that this sounds like the same males he saw after he lost sight of them beyond the fallen tree. ST suggests that it's either the Eye in the Sky or PM or Hodgkin that made the transmissions, and if it's Eye in the Sky, then there would be a visual presentation that could be shown. PM denies giving testimony of things he only heard about on the radio.

PM doesn't recall anyone doing exercises at that time on the road. ST suggests that someone was doing push-ups on the road and this does ring a bell in PM's head.

He says that if he didn't note it, it's because he didn't think it was relevant.

12:07 reference to someone doing sit-ups. PM says it's possible, but doesn't recall. A later transmission says that the two males have disappeared into the woods. PM doesn't know about this.

ST suggests that PM was following all this and this is how he made the assumption that the same people he saw in the morning were the ones in the truck. PM denies this and claims that he saw the occupants quickly and said they looked familiar. PM agrees that once he heard that the water buckets were being loaded into the truck he would have been paying attention and admits that this radio transmission rings a bell. Further transmissions of taking down occupants are also recalled. PM says that these transmissions would have been from Kembel to PM's team leader, Kevin Mann.

There is a reference to the Dream Team passing the 1019 mark. PM says that this would be 15 minutes from his location. He agrees that the intention of the negotiations was to seek a peaceful resolution without a shot being fired. "That was the intention of the whole operation."

Transmission 15 minutes before explosion notes that passenger in red truck is different from that person observed earlier from Eye in the Sky. PM says he may have heard this. Next transmission is of truck at fallen tree north of his position. ST suggests that two unarmed people and a dog walk north and then return to the truck. PM doesn't recall seeing unarmed people out of the truck. He's not sure. "I may have been getting a better position." ST asks why he says he "may" have been getting a better position. PM says that he's just trying to explain why he didn't get a view of the people getting out of the truck. He repeats he doesn't recall seeing the people getting out of the truck. 13:57 hours truck turned at meadow. This is where PM lost contact with truck. Dream team just arriving as red truck is heading for Percy's driveway. ST notes that there is no transmission from PM's position that there were weapons in the truck. PM explains that the communications were pretty clear at this point and he wouldn't have interrupted them to point out what everyone else was already saying on the radio. PM doesn't believe that he would have had much time to make a transmission about weapons. "We're out of time now...I would have made a quick transmission to Armstrong that they're on his way." PM recalls making a radio transmission saying something like "they're heading your way now." ST asks if PM would have made any transmission about weapons at this time. PM: "Likely not."

Following explosion, he does recall transmission of team in pursuit of occupants. PM made decision to head towards lake. Says that this would have been a mutual decision with Hodgkin. They went to rocks in clearing just west of intersection of 1000 Road and Lakeshore Road. 14:05 hours Kembel says "set up red team for another ambush." PM doesn't recall this transmission. F2 says that male in blue car was pointing rifle in direction of Tiger. PM says he heard gunfire either at clearing or on way there. Some rounds were coming in his direction. He says it took him, Brandt and Hodgkin several minutes to go from first position to clearing. He clarifies that the gunfire was not coming at him, but in his direction. He says this was coming from the northwest from the direction of the camp.

While in clearing, he recalls Red Bison going past on road. He doesn't remember seeing the red flag or not. ST suggests that the shots he heard were from the Bison. PM says that there was no gunfire coming from Bison as it passed.

It wasn't long after seeing the Bison that he heard the gunfire. Two or three minutes after. PM says he was ordered back into original position by Kembel.

PM says that Kembel may have used "RS3" or "VS3" or "VS2" or "Hodgkin" or "Marsh" on the radio to call them. ST wonders if he would have called him red sniper. PM says it would be weird for Kembel to use the word sniper, but ST reads from transmission where Kembel does. PM agrees he has no reason to disbelieve that Kembel would have called him red sniper. ST suggests there is no transmission ordering him back to Lion and Tiger. PM maintains there was an order and that's what he did.

ST reads from radio log at 1425 hours: Black Horse G, p≠Ûê,PÆ"ock, have th≠´†ders return to D. PM doesn't recall these specific transmissions. PM doesn't recall when exactly he saw the second Bison following the first. PM says that he walked through the bush when he returned to Tiger and Lion, but says that he would have seen second Bison somewhere between forward position and holding position.

He heard transmission that first Bison was disabled. He doesn't recall second Bison firing as it passed him. ST: "Was there any firing going on at this time?" PM: "There was continuous fire, it was constant."

An hour after the explosion, there is communication by Kembel to Red Sniper to look for person seen on north side of lake. Snipers were given a "green light" for this person. PM says there were four snipers that day and he didn't have visual contact of lake then. PM says that he and Hodgkin couldn't see the location, so the transmission must have been directed at the other two Vancouver snipers.

He later heard a bullet strike a rock at the same time he heard full auto C-7 fire and semi-auto M-16 fire. ST suggests that the fire could have been RCMP fire. "If they were firing in my direction, then it could have been... I didn't see who was pulling the trigger, so it could have been. I don't know."

MB/ Without jury or Marsh.

LB - says that they're not moving as quickly as they had hoped. There is a journalist who has been subpoenaed and doesn't want to be here. There is also going to be about two hours of video to show. LB would like to delay his appearance until Nov. 5.

Will Thomas is called in and told to reappear on Nov. 5th.

MA - Puts court on notice of constitutional challenge. They just received 400 pages of disclosures and wants it noted for the record. He still hasn't received notes from Bravener and ?. We need timely disclosures. He also wants the $40 a day to continue during this break. With winter coming on, he wants the amount raised to $75-100 a day.

ST - Wants to have Jensen (accountant for the Attorney General) come in here following the break to determine increase of money. ST also wants Sgt. Gates to return for further questions.

JF - Notes that the disclosures released are for negotiators scheduled for November. Regarding the constitutional challenge, she requires proper notice.

J rules the $40 a day to continue during break.

Jury and Marsh back in.

GW - no questions.

DC - PM agrees that as an undercover operator, it would be most important for operators to take their notes as soon as possible after an operation.

MA - PM says that when he heard shots near the rock, he could hear "Shhhh" sound as bullets went through bush. He doesn't recall any snapping sounds. PM says he has 20 plus personal weapons. He has a 308. He has never been hunting with an M-16. MA wants to know specifically what PM heard. PM says he heard "shoeing" sounds - lots of them. He heard a bullet hit a rock that went "twing". MA: "Shoeing and twing." Chuckles. He was at holding position for about a half hour.

MA looks at PM's notes. At time of explosion when he heard shots, he didn't actually see who fired the shots. PM says he was on the road when he heard the shots. PM clarifies that they got to clearing by going through the bush in a northwest direction. He was at clearing for a few minutes. PM says he couldn't see the water from this position. He could see road and he could see the Bison, but doesn't remember if anyone was standing out of the hatch as the Bison went by.

PM says he departed from cattle crossing by helicopter at 17:45 hours with one teammate. He was flown to Zulu and says he briefly talked about what happened. PM doesn't recall a meeting when he returned to Williams Lake at 11:00 p.m. It would have been brief and informal as everyone wanted to go to bed.

On Aug. 27, at briefing in Kamloops, there were 40-50 people there. Senior officer was Olfert, who opened meeting. Doesn't think Bass was there. Porter may have been there, but not sure. Bravener were there - Moulton and Wilby too. Not sure of Gates. When Wilby spoke, he never told members that Percy had called the RCMP complaining of armed men in camouflage sneaking around the bush. PM agrees that he was told Indians were armed and dangerous and were trespassing on private property. PM agrees that a plan was in process. At 14:10 hours, the briefing hadn't really got started. They were being briefed on the assault the next day when the briefing was interrupted and cancelled.

MA suggests that "compromise authority" means that if you're spotted on operation, you have the authority to shoot to kill. PM denies this. PM says that just because someone sees you doesn't mean you can kill them. Plan may be to abort plan if compromised. There may be an alternate plan if compromised.

MA suggests that Gustafsen Lake was more like a war zone and the ERT procedures weren't followed because of the nature of the situation. PM says the Sept. 11 battle may have been like a war, but at no time did the ERT change its rules.

PM says that an M-16 with a heavy barrel can be fired accurately up to 200 metres. With a .308, he's trained up to 600 metres. He has fired up to 1000 metres. PM repeats MA question: "Can you hit a man at 600 metres? Yes. Can you punch a quarter? No." He says he could hit a man at a 1000 metres. MA asks if a man walking with a hunting rifle over his shoulder 1,180 metres away would be a threat to him. "Likely not." He qualifies that the man may pose a threat to someone and even to him at some point.

PM says he has no knowledge of anyone hunting him. He has never heard of the "fog of war."

"Tunnel vision" to him means that someone gets so focused on something that he can't see what else is happening. MA suggests that the psychological stress of Gustafsen Lake made him feel like he was being hunted by radical Indians looking for white police officers. PM agrees that there are no native officers that he knows about at Gustafsen Lake. He does know that he was not hunted. No more questions.

J tells jury to have a good Thanksgiving break and dismisses them until the 21st.

Wolverine: "I think I need a holiday too. I've been sitting here too, standing for my rights." He and sheriffs laugh.

   * Day 54: Monday, October 7         * Day 57: Thursday, October 10
   * Day 55: Tuesday, October 8        * Day 58: Friday, October 11
   * Day 56: Wednesday, October 9