Trial, Week 15: Summary - November 4


WEEK 15: NOVEMBER 4 - 8, 1996

   * Day 68: Monday, November 4         * Day 71: Thursday, November 7
   * Day 69: Tuesday, November 5        * Day 72: Friday, November 8
   * Day 70: Wednesday, November 6


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

Posted by Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty


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

We're starting late today because the Crown's witness is delayed flying in this morning.

11:00 a.m. Without jury.

ST - advises that Rob's car has broken down on his way to court and asks that he be paid despite his absence. J agrees.

LB - apologizes for the late start. Today's witness had trouble making flights yesterday. LB understands that the jury has been sent home today. J agrees and declares a voirdire.

LB says that there are a number of issues today regarding a cell plant used on Ron Dionne.

ST - says that he hasn't heard this witness speak and would like to wait for the chief examination before deciding on what course he will pursue.

LB - Witness: Cst. Eddie Shortman (ES) - a native Cst. with RCMP for 12 years. Currently in Edmonton Drug Section. In Aug. 95, he was requested to attend to 100 Mile House to become an undercover operator in a cell plant operation. Kevin Huler was his cover man. Huler was operating with ES and another undercover officer. ES understood that someone was coming out of the blockade and that he would do a cell plant operation then. Cst. DeSilva came from Vancouver to do this also. ES and DeSilva met Skippon in Lac La Hache and then went to 100 Mile House.

ES got word on Sept. 12 at 5:12 p.m. that there was a subject from the camp in the cells. Skippon was his cover man during the following operation. ES's role was to gather information in a passive role. Skippon's instructions were to be in a passive role, which meant not to incite any conversation with the accused. ES wore blue jeans and a white T-shirt. His character to play was that he had been picked up on some warrants and that he had fines to pay before being allowed release.

He was placed into cells after 5:12 p.m. He doesn't have the exact time. DeSilva was put in to a separate cell directly across from ES and Dionne's. ES doesn't know why DeSilva was placed in the cell across the hall. ES understood that DeSilva was in there to do a cell operation too, but doesn't know if it had anything to do with ES's operation.

ES and Dionne were the only people in the cell. He was told that the person was Ron Dionne. ES describes Ron as wearing cammo shorts and a muscle T-shirt. ES identifies Ron in the courtroom.

ES says Ron was laying on his cot in the cell. Ron was on two mattresses, so ES asked the guard for one. ST asks that ES not refer to his notebook until he exhausts his memory. ES says that after he asked for the mattress, Ron spoke. ES reads from his notes claiming Ron said, "you shoot a cop, you get all this attention." ES says that he didn't do anything in response. He says that Ron then said that he never got this much attention before and hoped that his two brothers were okay. ES says that the brothers referred to were two people who were already picked up.

ES goes on to say that Ron said the following: Ron said he was surrounded by some police officers. He was arrested and blindfolded and placed in a helicopter and returned to the detachment. Ron then said he had three lawyers, including Bruce Clark. He said that the media and the cops were lying about what was transpiring. He talked about being charged for attempted murder and mischief and how they were going to prove it. ES says that he agreed by nodding his head and let Ron talk.

ES then called the guard to make a call of some sort. He was removed from cells at 6:10 p.m. ES spoke to Skippon and told him what had transpired. ES believes Skippon told him to continue in his passive mode. He was returned to cells at 6:19 p.m. He told Ron that he hoped he would get his bail money. ES doesn't recall Ron's response.

Ron then spoke of a girl he knew that he called "ShoeShoe". She had gone for some water, some booby traps had gone off, and she had been picked up. ES is asked to refresh his memory in his notes. ES adds that "ShoeShoe" had gone for water in a truck and there was an explosion.

LB says that this process will take some time. ST suggests that the witness says for the record that he doesn't recall what happened without his notes. J suggests that he relay all he can without his notes and then he can read his notes directly.

ES from his memory says Ron told him that he was the missing man. Ron said he spent a cold night and had to build a lean-to. Ron said he had a weapon which he had to hide in the bush. There was a reference to metal heat sensors and that's why he hid his gun. ES says that he would have to check his notes to remember anything more.

ES says that his notes were made on the same day as the cell operation. J tells ES to go ahead. ES begins on page 41 of his notes from the point he spoke of "ShoeShoe" being blown up. ES asks if he should read the notes verbatim. LB says yes, but ST says that he might as well just file his notes then. J clarifies that ES may now freely refer to his notes to refresh his memory. ES understands.

ES continues. He repeats that Ron told him that during his cold overnight stay, he hid his weapon. Ron went on to say that he was from St. Catherines, Ontario. He said he had participated in the Oka crisis in Quebec. He spoke of the carriers that the RCMP were using and said that the noises that they made sent a chill down his spine. Ron said he was an Ontario Mohawk from the Kahnawake area. He went on to speak of supporting these types of blockades, saying that the native land wasn't for sale. He said he liked to support and participate in these kinds of crises and travelled everywhere to do so.

Ron went on to speak of the landowner as being "Miles" James. Ron said this man was from the United States and that he was rich. Ron said there were burial grounds and the land wasn't for sale. He talked about the thousands of head of cattle out there and that they would sometimes set off the booby traps. Ron said he could hear the cows setting them off.

ES says that he was just listening and acknowledging what Ron was saying. ES says that the only questions he asked were those above.

Ron then spoke of the kid that was killed by police in Ontario. He said that it wasn't right because the kid wasn't armed. Ron said that he never cried before, but this almost made him cry when he heard about the kid being killed. Ron referred to a brother in the camp who was also upset about the kid, who said that once he was released, he was going back to Ontario to get even.

ES says that Ron used his hands to illustrate that they were battling with AK-47s and M-16s. Ron said it was unreal. ES says that Ron used his hands as if he was shooting a rifle. ES says he told Ron where he was from. ES told Ron that it was a nice city.

Ron spoke about the elders in the camp and that they requested some potatoes and rice for food. He said that the police gave them a perimeter, but Ron said it wasn't a good idea because they needed to hunt to get food. Ron spoke about Wolverine. HR objects to any references to Wolverine or anyone else. J says he will hear it in the voirdire and will hear HR's application later. Ron said that Wolverine was a smart man with only a grade 7 education. Ron mentioned "WWF", which he said referred to "Wolverine's Warrior Force". Ron said the people he was with laughed about this.

ES says that he said to Ron that he wished he had a room by himself. ES claims he said this for no reason. Ron said that ES probably didn't like him because he talked too much. ES told Ron that it wasn't a problem. Ron went on to talk about one of the negotiators named Ryan. Ron didn't like the conditions he was making or the way he was negotiating. Ron then spoke about his dog and about how it had killed a police dog. Ron said it was a wolf dog.

ES says Ron spoke about the media and the lies they were saying. Ron spoke about how their communications had been cut off.

ES was taken out of cells at 7:29 p.m. ES says that up until this time, he had basically agreed with Dionne and didn't say much. After leaving cells, ES spoke to Skippon. ES returned to the cell and Dionne was sleeping. At 9:20 p.m., ES was removed from cells again and this time Skippon told ES to be more active now and to use his own judgement. ES returned to the cell at 9:42 p.m. Dionne was still asleep. ES asked the guard for some reading material, which he got and read. ES fell asleep.

ES woke up again around midnight. The guard told him it was 11:30 p.m. Ron woke up sometime after midnight. Ron referred to a pocketbook he had on him. Ron laughed about the heading on the book, "Nightwatch". Ron spoke about a woman named Shelagh whom he had in his tent. Ron said she was good looking and from Geneva. Ron spoke about a guy named "Throne" who had videotapes of what transpired. He had taken videos of the battle that had taken place and the police would gladly like to have those videos. Ron also spoke about some girls who had been involved in an anti-logging standoff, in which one of them was in a tree for 72 hours.

Ron said that he was charged with attempted murder in Chilliwack, B.C. and with something else in Victoria, B.C. Ron spoke about other countries and about immunity and how some countries are governed by the law. He said the cops are liars and they too should be charged. ES says that Ron said that "we or they shot warning shots at a helicopter." ES says that he recalled hearing news reports of a helicopter being shot at. ES says that he hadn't asked any questions regarding this. ES says that Ron just said it.

ES says that Ron said he had a brother in the Indian movement. He also spoke of his grandmother and a girlfriend. ES then called the guard at 1:36 a.m. saying he had stomach cramps and asked the guard if he had anything for his stomach. ES says that he offered to make calls for Ron, but otherwise, just listened to him. Though Skippon had told ES to take a more active role, ES says that he didn't and basically continued his passive role as he had before. He returned to the cell at 1:46 a.m.

In the morning, a uniformed member came to tell Ron that his lawyer was there. The member and Ron went off. When Ron came back, the guard brought them some coffee and toast. Ron said that he had spoken to his lawyer and had heard that one of the girls had been released. Ron then spoke about the Privy Council. ES says that he told Ron that he hoped he would get $500 from his aunt for bail or for a fine - he can't recall what he said.

Ron said that the cells were bugged and the bugs are usually placed in the beds. ES didn't respond. ES left the cell at 8:48 a.m. and reported to Skippon. He returned to the cell at 9:10 a.m. Ron told ES that he was going to remain silent and his lawyer Bruce Clark wasn't going to represent him because he was being disbarred. ES says that he agreed with Ron. Ron said that Clark was a defense lawyer and that he was going over to England. Ron then laid down and went to sleep. ES called the guard and spoke to Skippon. This was the end of the cell block operation. ES guesses that his final stay in cells lasted about 10 minutes. The decision to end the operation was Skippon's.

ES then went to a safe house 30-45 minutes from 100 Mile House. It took him two and a half hours to write his notes. ES says that he never identified himself as a policeman. Ron never questioned him regarding his identity. ES says that Ron seemed upset at times about what was going on. ES says that otherwise, Ron's tone was normal. He didn't notice any change of attitude towards himself by Ron.

ST - ES confirms that he made short notes that he gave to Skippon. ES says that he has these notes on him. ST wants copies of these to look over during the lunch hour.

L/ After lunch, while waiting for something or another, Grant leans back in his chair. And then he leans back a little more. And then he leans to the maximum that physics will allow and the chair suddenly flips backwards. His legs fly and he's suddenly lying on the floor. There is a pause in the courtroom and suddenly an explosion of laughter as Grant gets to his feet with an embarrassed smile. HR says that he should have stayed on the floor claiming injury. A sheriff tells Grant that he got an 8.6 from the Russian judge. This is the last place to come for sympathy.

Judge in.

LB - says that despite the fact that ES is still on the stand, ST has spoken to LB about ES's cell plant notes and ST says that he won't take exception to admissibility, but does say it requires some editing. LB says the editing includes the following: On page 42, where Ron tells ES where he is from, that should be deleted. There is another reference to someone going east to get even. That should be deleted. References should also be removed regarding Wolverine, like how smart he is and that the people in the camp laughed about WWF referring to Wolverine's Warrior Force. HR wants these references removed. LB notes that ST has another position on the WWF reference. ST wants the reference to Ron's dog killing a police dog removed. HR wants another Wolverine reference removed.

ST wants references to time Ron did in Ontario removed, as well as reference to his brother being in American Indian Movement.

ST - says HR's request to remove Wolverine from the WWF reference and to replace it with "reference to the warrior force" may make it sound more sinister than as the joke it actually was.

HR - says that any reference to Wolverine as anything but an Elder should be removed. HR says that the essence of the Crown's case depends on inferences like the WWF reference. HR would be happy to remove the whole phrase. LB says that he would like to have it changed to "the warrior force." J says that this would take it out of the context of it being a joke. LB says that only prejudicial comments to another accused should be removed. He says that to remove the whole sentence wouldn't do.

J asks ST if the reference could be changed so that the witness would say that Ron mentioned an acronym in which the last two letters stood for "warrior force." ST says that the joke wouldn't come out if WWF isn't referred to. He says that there are plenty of negotiator tapes in which Wolverine speaks of warriors.

GW - concerned with "they or we took shots at the helicopter." GW say that this implies that it involved others and the prejudicial effect is very high. Who can say who "they" are. And the jury can't even use it because Ron never says "I".

J asks why GW hadn't brought that up with OJ's statement to his undercover cell plant. GW can't remember what he may have spoken to OJ about at that time concerning his statement, but says that this reference is too broad and it should be left out.

J takes a minute to look over applications. He thanks counsel for their assistance regarding this statement. J reiterates the arguments made. He says that regarding the WWF reference, it obviously refers to the World Wrestling Federation. J agrees that ST's concerns are warranted, so he will delete that whole sentence. J says that GW's concern about the helicopter reference using the word "we or they" can affect others, but will give a warning to the jury and declines to alter the statement.

LB says that to ensure that we don't run into the same trouble as we have in the past, LB will supply the witness with revised notes with these segments blanked out, and will allow the witness to read the notes to the jury. ST happy about that as long as the jury is told that he has exhausted his memory. LB would like to deal with some other matters too.

LB says that regarding the latest schedule, it begins November 4th. Nov. 7th will now be set aside for a voirdire regarding JoJo's statement taken by Cst. Russell. Nov. 20 is scheduled for playing the audiotapes of the police radio transmissions.

ST - says that regarding the schedule, he sees that Cpl. Cameron has been deleted from the negotiator team segment.

J asks about the voirdire regarding JoJo's statement - if it could happen on the Friday (Nov. 8th), then the jury could get a four day long weekend. Counsel agree.

GW - brings up money problems. GW would like to have an application heard by Jensen. J says that perhaps counsel could go over the details to reduce the impact on the trial. GW says he'll do that.

MA - sees that we are about a month away from the end of the Crown's case. He sees that a number of disclosures are being considered by the RCMP. He has asked for Torp's 50 hours of RCMP training videotapes and the TIP files. MA is concerned that the RCMP are controlling the disclosures here. He doesn't want to see that these arrive three weeks from now. MA says that he understands that it is the court that decides relevance. J says that it is for the Crown to begin the process and will allow them to respond. MA would like the police to hurry up.

JF - says that the Crown is still only asking what the RCMP's position is regarding these videotape disclosures. She understands that the police are reviewing the tapes as quickly as possible, so that they can give a position through one of their lawyers. Regarding the other disclosures, these will be dealt with more easily.

J asks the Crown to seriously consider these disclosure requests.

HR - asks if he understands JF correctly that the RCMP want to use their own legal counsel to argue disclosure issues. He reminds everyone that Defense deals with the Crown. The RCMP don't have a separate issue here.

LB - says that there are a lot of things to be dealt with here. J suggests that the Crown can surely have other counsel as part of their team. LB notes that HR's concern is that the lawyer in question will be representing the RCMP and not the Crown.

HR repeats that the RCMP doesn't have a separate issue here. That is for the Crown to argue. J says he will address this when it comes around.

   * Day 68: Monday, November 4         * Day 71: Thursday, November 7
   * Day 69: Tuesday, November 5        * Day 72: Friday, November 8
   * Day 70: Wednesday, November 6