Trial, Week 13: Summary - October 23


WEEK 13: OCTOBER 21 - OCTOBER 25, 1996

   * Day 59: Monday, October 21         * Day 62: Thursday, October 24
   * Day 60: Tuesday, October 22        * Day 63: Friday, October 25
   * Day 61: Wednesday, October 23


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

Posted by FreeMedia


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

Without jury.

GW tells J that he'll be taking care of DC's clients while DC is gone.

MA notes that Glen was in hospital earlier in the week and would like that he be paid for those days. Also says that Defense takes issue that people won't be paid for the week long break if they weren't here on the Friday previous to the break or the Monday following.

J says that he has a note from a juror who needs a day off for personal business. J suggests that Friday, November 1st be used for that day. JF says that this is the same day that Jensen (accountant for the Attorney General) said that he'd be available. J will look into that.

The jury is called in, but it is noted that two of the jurors haven't arrived yet, so the court is stood down. While Wolverine is taken back to his holding cell he remarks, "They're taking a holiday and we're still sitting here."

The jury and the J are in.

J tells jury that the next witness, Cst. DeMeester, had testified that OJ had told him that he had various criminal records. He warns the jury that the character of an accused should never be considered, as people without records often commit crimes and some people with records don't commit later crimes. J also tells jury to disregard OJ's alleged comments that he was a debt collector as if it had never been made.

LB - Cst. Richard Charles DeMeester (RD) back on witness stand - RD continues with his recollection of OJ's comments in the cell. RD said he was from Montreal. OJ said that he was from Vancouver, but had come up to Gustafsen Lake when he heard that a spiritual leader was being bullwhipped by white ranchers. OJ said the police showed up after he showed up. OJ told RD people in the camp started by shooting at police Suburbans, then at helicopters. They were shooting at police all the time. The police were really scared. OJ was laughing the whole time. This is a war between them and the RCMP. He'll never stop. He'll go to another blockade again. The police thought that the camp members were well organized, but there were only a couple of AKs and hunting rifles. They used .22s because they knew that they could penetrate bulletproof vests. OJ said that he had a woman who he moved back to Ontario from Vancouver because she just gave birth. RD describes that OJ wore white paper coveralls and he noted tattoos on his arms. RD identifies OJ in the courtroom.

RD left OJ a pager number and some clothing. He also left a note which told him to give him a call some day. RD says that in the course of his dealings with OJ, he never disclosed his true identity and maintained his cover.

GW - RD has been on force for more than 15 years - four years as an undercover officer. He agrees that before he went on undercover program, he went through a selection process where he assumes that he was tested to see if he could think on his feet. He is involved mostly in murder homicide investigations. He says that in the past, he has dressed from shorts to suits. RD has portrayed himself as a drunk driver, but never as a sexual offender. With OJ, he was dressed in black Harley T-shirt and black jeans to portray himself as a biker. Cpl. Skippon was his coverman and the decision to dress as a biker was made between Skippon and RD. RD brought an assortment of different clothing prior to his briefing in a safe house an hour away from 100 Mile House.

Skippon didn't give RD many details of the situation. RD says that decision to dress as biker was not a lengthy ordeal because to dress as a biker established a quick identity. He agrees that bikers are immediately identified as dangerous people in the jail community. They are identified with dangerous crimes like murder. RD agrees that he told OJ that he was a biker from Nanaimo and agrees that there is a large community of bikers there involved in major crimes. RD claims that he didn't say this to impress OJ, but to quickly establish credibility.

GW asks if RD asked Skippon if the cell would be wired. RD agrees he may have asked that because it's technically possible. RD agrees that if it is wired, all communications will be recorded. He agrees that time to time, RCMP does wire cells and he has been involved in these investigations in the past. He understands that to do this, someone like Skippon would have to go to a judge to get a warrant to do that. RD has heard this done as quickly as three hours, but personally, has never seen it done this fast. Usually it takes a few days. RD says that Skippon wouldn't be involved with securing a warrant like this and that it would be left to an investigator.

RD's notes begin on the 17th of Sept. He learned from Skippon that OJ had been in cells since Sept. 15th. RD was satisfied by the time he went into the cell with OJ that the cell was not wired. RD says that he would be making notes as soon as he could whether the cell was wired or not. GW suggests that RD recorded the notes 12 hours after he spoke to OJ. RD agrees. He says that he didn't write them down until he left cells and went back to the safe house. GW suggests that he had the opportunity to do this right after he got out. RD says that he got out of cells at... RD can't find in his notes when this was. He finished his notes at 3:30 p.m. on the 18th. Looking through his notebook, RD says that Skippon wrote down the times. GW says that just as a test of his memory, RD can't tell the jury when he was taken out. RD agrees that he can't recall. RD claims that he wrote them down as soon as possible - after his one hour drive to the safe house. RD agrees that it's important to record your notes as soon as possible after an event because his memory would be better and this is how he is trained. RD agrees that he wouldn't approve of an undercover officer taking notes 12 hours after an event. RD agrees that if an RCMP undercover did take 12 hours before making notes, he would tell the officer that it would be better to record them as soon as possible.

RD agrees that Skippon told him to find out about firing weapons at helicopters. RD says that he had heard on media of these events, but was told specifically by Skippon what the objectives were. RD agrees that an important part of an undercover operation are the objectives. RD agrees that he believed the statements made by Skippon to be fact. RD clarifies to court that he has to record all information he hears and not just those relating to the objectives. RD says that he records these statements because they are part of the objectives. Second objective was shooting at Suburbans. Third was shooting at armoured cars. Fourth was incident surrounding the blowing up of the red truck. Fifth was any criminal activities that may have occurred during the standoff.

RD agrees that he may have recorded these objectives in the presence of Skippon. He didn't record an objective to find out about natives stalking RCMP members and shooting at them on Sept. 4. RD says that he may have heard of this through the newspapers or the television news. GW shows him Sept. 6 Province story of stalking incident, but RD not sure if he saw that. RD certain that if this incident was an objective to learn about, he would have noted it.

When he went into cell with OJ, he knew it was not wired. GW suggests this gave RD the opportunity to write whatever he wanted, but RD says that he would write whatever was said.

RD admits that he told OJ that he was a source for guns later in his conversation. RD remembers OJ laughing when he spoke about what transpired. He agrees that he had never met OJ before and he doesn't know what lawyers may have told OJ regarding cell plants. RD doesn't know what his lawyer had told OJ. GW suggests that OJ was laughing at RD and he doesn't know why. RD says that OJ was laughing when he described events.

RD agrees that he gave OJ a note and says that he didn't know what was going to happen regarding the investigation. Having contact would enable RD to continue investigations. The pager number given to OJ was a real phone number. RD says that he had one contact with OJ in June of '96 in a New Westminster mall. OJ asked for his pager number again. RD says that OJ never contacted him after the cell plant meeting, nor after the mall meeting. GW suggests that OJ didn't take his bait that he was a weapons source. RD says that this wasn't bait at all. He does agree that he made himself out to be a biker, a criminal and a source of guns. OJ never called his pager number.

The notes RD read were from Sept. 18th. RD agrees that he quickly forgot a few minutes ago that he hadn't told the jury that he had given OJ a note, then remembered he had. RD agrees that as a human, he makes mistakes. Regarding RD's notes, RD writes that OJ told him he had been in camp for four months. RD doesn't recall if OJ told him he had been in and out for four months. Another note says that OJ told him that white guys had bullwhipped the spiritual leader. The notes say that "they shot up the Suburban." RD agrees that he is not writing this verbatim, but as close as he recalls. He knows that it's important to remember words, but says to record a three hour conversation verbatim is an impossibility and he'll be the first to agree with this. GW suggests that RD had the opportunity to put down false reportings, but RD says that he had no reason to do this. RD says that sometimes he is able to record conversations verbatim by calling his pager and recording what was just said, but he didn't have the opportunity this time.

MB/ GW cont'd with Cst. DeMeester - RD reiterates that what he wrote was that "they shot up the Suburban". GW suggests that what OJ told him was that the police shot up their own vehicle. RD disagrees. GW suggests that OJ was laughing throughout all of this. RD agrees that on the same page that OJ mentions shooting the Suburban and the helicopter, that there is mention that OJ is laughing. RD doesn't know why OJ was laughing. RD says it didn't appear as if OJ was trying to get a rise out of him. RD assumes that he is laughing about what he is talking about, but admits he doesn't know.

RD agrees that GW told him quietly without the jury in the room that RD shouldn't mention the word "record". And yet when the jury arrived, RD said the word "record". GW suggests that he said this on purpose, but RD says that he thought the only concern was not to disclose the contents of the record. RD says that he didn't know that he wasn't to mention the word "record". GW says that RD just plain forgot in the space of ten minutes. RD says this is incorrect.

No more questions.

LB or JF? - Next witness (recalled from July 10): Sgt. Robert Grey (RG) - Part of Vancouver Serious Crime Unit and was assigned to the arrest team. He was not part of ERT. He spent most of his time at Zulu and took part in developing the arrest plan for the members at Gustafsen Lake.

On Sept. 11, he was aware of incident between red truck and Bisons. He saw Bisons pass by. Received exhibits from Marsh and Shinkaruk.

Those from Marsh were received at Zulu at 18:45 hours on Sept. 11. One exhibit was an AK-47 from Hungary. He noted its serial number. Ex. 116, the AK-47, is shown to the witness and he recognizes it as the one he seized. He remembered the stock being black, but otherwise it appears to be the same one. The second item was a 22-250 Parker Hale hunting rifle with a scope. He notes serial number. Ex. 117 (the 22-250) is shown to RG and he again recognizes it as the one he got from Marsh. Next item was curved banana clip - an ammunition magazine. He doesn't recall if it was loaded or not. Ex. 118 shown and he recognizes it to be the clip. He says that it looks like a magazine for an AK-47. Next he received two portable walkie talkies or scanners - he didn't see if they worked. He placed magazine and radios in a bag and sealed it. He turned these in to Cst. Leslie in 100 Mile House on the 11th.

From Cst. Shinkaruk at 19:05 hours at Zulu, he received a black ammunition magazine. He is shown Ex. 119 and he recognizes it as the same one he seized. Also received five rounds of rifle ammunition which he bagged. He sees exhibit bag, but notes that there are only four rounds now. Later in day, he seized cammo scarf or headband and black sunglasses. He doesn't know who he got these from, but it was after he arrested Edward Dick at 8:00 p.m.ish on the 11th. This seizure was at Zulu in the vicinity of Dick and ERT members. He gave the above to Cst. Leslie. He says that he didn't alter the exhibits after he received them. He is shown an exhibit bag containing scarf and sunglasses.

On Sept. 13th, he received from Insp. Kembel the following: Alberta licence plate (from red truck), Prince George highway receipt and a chequebook in Suniva's name. He is shown these in bags. He says they were given to him in three separate bags which he then placed in a large single bag. RG is given this large single bag which he recognizes. He inspects it and realizes that he had actually bagged the items separately and then placed them all in this one big bag.

He also received a vehicle registration in Anne Notnes' name, Suniva's passport, Suniva's driver's licence, a receipt with the name Pena on it (he identifies these exhibits), a newspaper clipping, sweater, scarf, 12-gauge shotgun shell (he identifies this exhibit), cassette player, a map, ball cap, newspaper, smoking pipe, road map, cigarette lighter, and a quartz halogen light. He turned these over to Cst. Leslie on the 15th at 9:20 a.m. He didn't alter any of these.

RG was also involved in arrest procedures which he has already testified about on July 10/96. He dealt with the following in arrest procedures: Glen Deneault, Edward Dick, Sheila Ignace and Shadow Potulicki.

MA - RG agrees he went up to Gustafsen Lake on Aug. 28th. He is a Sergeant. RG went to a number of briefings. On Sept. 1, RG's notes reflect him passing information to Insp. Edwards. RG says that Edwards' role was ERT commander and that the info he passed on regarded a person who had come from direction of the camp. This person had tried to get back into the camp. His information was that he had never been in the camp, but was trying to get in.

RG says that the command post was in 100 Mile House. On dates he noted he was at briefings, he doesn't recall what was discussed. On Sept. 6th, briefing dealt with Tassell getting authorization to get a wiretap. Sept. 11, RG was briefed by Insp. ?, but RG can't recall contents. He headed out to Zulu that day with Kiloh in case there were any arrests that day.

RG agrees that he met with Special O near beginning, including morning of Sept. 11 at 10:15 a.m. RG says he was acting as go-between for Special O and command team in 100 Mile House because he felt the command centre was under surveillance by camp supporters and didn't want Special O members compromised.

Michael and Jovial were the first names of these people. He says they gave him information regarding surveillance gathered on the 10th. On Sept. 6, he met with Special O, but doesn't recall specifics of that meeting. In RG's notes there is a request for three prints. RG says that was of photographs of surveillance subjects. RG gave notes from Special O to Tassell about a half dozen times. They were handwritten by the team leader. There were two teams which would relieve each other. RG says that he had worked with Special O for a number of years and there are usually six to eight members per team. He was liaison and would pass on orders from Insp. Bass and Sgt. Rinn and another Sgt. whose name escapes him. Rinn is RG's boss at Special Investigations and his and Kiloh's immediate supervisor.

RG also met with Special I. He only met with them a couple of times. He took seized radios to Rob Morrison to determine what radio channels the camp was on. RG doesn't recall seeing any video from Special I or any notes from them.

RG's section assisted the 100 Mile House and Kamloops investigation of Gustafsen Lake. He interviewed some of the army personnel, but doesn't remember who. RG doesn't recall interviewing Sgt. Schlueter (the man who lost his fingers to a stun grenade). He interviewed Blanc. In RG's notes, there is a reference to Schlueter. RG says he got the information about Schlueter from the yellow Bison driver, Heuser or from Blanc. MA asks what the purpose was to question Blanc. RG says that he wanted information about what happened up at the camp. RG agrees that he was the most senior investigator there.

RG never investigated the Sept. 12 attempt to kill a camp member by ERT snipers. RG recalls talking to Kembel about this incident, but doesn't recall when. There are notes in his notebook about this.

RG had heard a rumour that someone from the camp was shot. He recalls something about an ERT member reporting that someone was hit and laying on the ground, but he says there was a lot of confusion at the time so he isn't sure. He never investigated this shooting. He never discussed with Rinn if there was going to be an investigation regarding this shooting. He doesn't know directly if there was any attempt to get aid to the shot person, but he understands that negotiators were dealing with this. He agrees that if there was going to be an investigation of the person shot on the 11th or the attempted killing on the 12th, his unit would have assisted. RG says that it would have been a group responsibility to investigate. He says that the top rank of the group was Insp. Bass. RG claims that he himself was just another investigator despite his rank. He had nothing to do with any investigation of the attempted killing of a camp member on the 12th.

Jury and RG stood down.

LB - Tells J that there is some trouble with how to proceed with the day. J rules that he is declining to reopen the voirdire regarding JoJo's statement, so we can continue with Cst. Tremblay.

L/ Jury and Sgt. Grey in.

J tells jury that GW is taking care of DC's clients while he's in the hospital.

SF - RG agrees that there is a reference in his notes to Lester House regarding Tip 151. At a briefing on Sept. ?, Agnes Snow gave them a tip, as did Lester House and Ken Daniels. Each tip is given a number. RG says that each bit of information is assigned a number and a file, so that it can be referenced later. Coroner reports and other reports are often given tips too.

RG agrees that some of the tips came from out of province, but he can't recall which ones.

SF suggests that he was told that the people in the camp claimed the RCMP had no jurisdiction to go in on unceded land and remove people from the land. RG agrees that he understood this to be the position of the people in the camp. He says that he never investigated the claims that the land was deeded illegally, nor does he know of anyone that did.

RG heard of Dr. Bruce Clark and knows he went into the camp. He doesn't know that Clark is a lawyer, but knows that this is what he claims. He's sure someone checked this out before letting him go in, but he knows that it wasn't him. RG agrees that Clark spoke to negotiators before going in, but he's not aware of any investigations into Clark's claims that the RCMP were in there illegally. SF points out that police thought that the people in the camp were criminals and the people in the camp thought the police were criminals. RG understands that the camp was seeking an independent third party to resolve the issues, but he isn't aware of this occurring.

SF suggests that the reason RG didn't investigate the claims made by the Shuswap people that they already had legal title to the land was because the police already knew that the Shuswap people were right. RG disagrees and says that they knew who had legal right - the rancher. He didn't investigate this area. SF suggests that he could have done so on his own as a police officer or as an upstanding citizen. RG says that this isn't what he was assigned to investigate.

RG didn't know that there was an international observer there. He didn't know that the RCMP have been charged with seven breaches of international law. He had heard that the phone system in the camp had been cut off, so only the RCMP could contact them. He had heard that the media had been blocked from coming in. SF asks if he understands that truth comes before justice. J says that this isn't something of interest to the jury. SF says that this is important. Wolverine: "Because we want justice here." J says that it's not a proper question.

RG isn't aware that John Cashore had admitted that the land in B.C. was illegally taken. RG is not aware of the legalities involved in the land issue, but is aware that the natives regarded the land as being spiritual grounds.

Wolverine: "Our constitutional rights are internationally protected. Where do we go for justice here?"

J says that Wolverine's statement can be a submission for the jury.

SF asks RG if he is aware of the 1763 Royal Proclamation and RG reminds her that she asked him that before the last time he was here. His answer is that he still doesn't know what it's about. SF tries to get his opinion on the implications of the Proclamation, but the J won't allow this. J: "You've asked this before and you know that they can't offer an opinion."

RG says that Olfert was chief of investigations "on site".

Jury and Sgt. Grey stood down so GW can make a submission.

ST first says that Robert Flemming won't be here today and tomorrow because of personal difficulties.

GW - says that the next witness is Cst. Tremblay and would like JoJo to be brought to the court from his cell, as he had returned to it earlier. This will take a moment to bring him here.

JF says that there is some editing of JoJo's statement that she presumed GW wanted to bring up. GW agrees and they will deal with this now.

JF - says that there is a reference in Cst. Tremblay's statement in which JoJo claimed that he had a record as long as "both of you put together." GW says that he wants this left in to show the absurdity of the statement, but he does want to omit Russell's reference to photographs that he showed JoJo. GW doesn't want the actual photographs put to the jury, nor does he want the photographs to be identified as photos of JoJo since this is in dispute.

HR - wants any references to Wolverine omitted. J makes the order to omit this reference.

AB/ JF - Next witness: Cst. Maurice Tremblay (MT) on witness stand again. On Sept. 18, he was working with Cst. Russell at 100 Mile House. At around 8:00 a.m., MT and Russell took JoJo to an interview room to question him about Gustafsen Lake. They all sat down. JoJo was sitting next to table and the two officers were sitting across from him. JoJo was wearing regular clothing and appeared normal and alert.

Russell had decided not to tape the interview and MT's role was to take notes. MT was writing his notes down in his notebook, not verbatim, but a direct reflection of the conversation taking place. At one point during the interview he left to go to the washroom. At a point, MT also took part in the conversation.

MT identifies JoJo in the courtroom. MT says that JoJo's demeanour was the same throughout the interview except for two occasions when he got excited. Sometimes he spoke in low tones. JoJo didn't appear to have any trouble understanding what was said to him.

MT looks at his notebook. At 8:56 a.m., the interview began. When they entered the room, JoJo got excited and beat his chest yelling, "you're not going to break me, man. I'm not going to say anything to you, man." JoJo said, "I almost got my fucken head blown off, man." Russell asked what this was about and JoJo said, "I don't know. I don't even know."

In the following conversation, JoJo said that he had danced in the Sundance. He also said he had a criminal record longer than the two officers put together. J says to jury that this was left in on Defense's request. MT continues that JoJo said that he has done time everywhere. Russell told JoJo that he doesn't have to say anything if he doesn't want to.

JoJo also went on to say that he had a blue car. He didn't have a gun at the site anymore and doesn't know if they had been destroyed. He said that the whites were supporters and didn't know why Trond Halle was recording this.

MT says that JoJo claimed to have military experience. He said that regarding moose hunting, he could never shoot a four legged. He said he didn't shoot at police at Gustafsen Lake. He was aware of a couple of helicopter shootings, a Suburban shooting and an APC battle. MT went out to the washroom again. JoJo said that he was only scaring cops and didn't want to shoot anyone. He's shown photos and then returned to his cell.

He's brought back to the interview room and his clothes are taken. He's shown the photos again and says that there were two other people with him. Russell asked what they were doing up there, but JoJo was silent. He wouldn't answer any more questions, so MT told JoJo that theyÆE@pØ,ht with him.≠¨ JoJo wanted his lawyer, but was told he wasn't available.

JoJo said he fired once at a helicopter, but not at APCs. When asked about shooting while in the bush, JoJo said that he was just returning fire, protecting what is rightfully theirs. During APC battle, he said he fired a clip and a half from a .303 British. He said he was in the camp during the Suburban shooting and says that people didn't tell him much.

Says that he ate once a day - mostly potatoes and spaghetti. He said he only fired once at a helicopter on the day Mercredi was there, but wasn't sure. When police were first shot at, JoJo said that he was at the fire at the time. He only fired a warning shot. He was only shooting warnings.

JoJo suddenly stands up in the courtroom and yells at his father while taking a swing at him. The J dives out his personal door and a sheriff orders the courtroom cleared. As the jury is being hustled out, JoJo is wrestled to the floor and held there. Wolverine stands up and calmly says, "you can hold him, but don't manhandle him too hard." All the lawyers except ST dive out of the courtroom and then the supporters in the gallery begin to holler at the sheriffs telling them to let go of JoJo. Flo can't help but rush to her son's help now and a sheriff grabs her. People are yelling as the sheriffs place a painful wristhold on Flo. Her eyes are red as she pleads with the sheriffs to stop hurting JoJo. Tremblay backs up in the witness box with his hand behind him, ready to draw his gun. The supporters in the gallery don't realize how much they are stirring up the hornets' nest by screaming at the sheriffs while most of the Defenders remain calm. The supporters don't realize that if the cops or sheriffs start shooting, it's the Defenders behind the bulletproof glass separating the gallery who are in danger - not the supporters.

A sheriff tries to grab Toby, but ST snaps at him, "Don't you dare touch her." Everyone is eventually herded out of the courtroom except Flo. Grant, Suniva and Trond also remain behind. One sheriff is about to cuff Flo and Trond tells the guy, "come on, she's just a concerned mother, you don't have to cuff her." Grant, Suniva and Trond are shunted out of the courtroom and Flo is released shortly after too. Her wrist is swollen and possibly sprained or broken. The yelling continues in the hallway as more sheriffs arrive. There must be about twenty sheriffs in the hallway, two with riot shields. John Hill screams that this is no way to treat an elder and an example of the system's treatment of natives. OJ asks if the sheriffs are proud of themselves for hurting an old woman.

The court is stood down for the day as Flo is taken to the hospital to get her wrist checked. It's twice its normal size. Another glorious day in the B.C. justice system.

   * Day 59: Monday, October 21         * Day 62: Thursday, October 24
   * Day 60: Tuesday, October 22        * Day 63: Friday, October 25
   * Day 61: Wednesday, October 23