Trial, Week 20: Summary - December 13


WEEK 20: DECEMBER 11 - 13, 1996

  * Monday, December 9 - no court         * Day 90: Thursday, December 12
  * Tuesday, December 10 - no court       * Day 91: Friday, December 13
  * Day 89: Wednesday, December 11


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

Posted by Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1996 - DAY 91

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

J in. No jury.

LB - he received a phone call this morning from SF, who told him that she had some medical appointments today that she forgot to mention yesterday. She doesn't want to forego her cross-examination of Agnes Snow, but LB told her that all he could do was bring it up before the J. J is wondering if this means that she no longer wants the court to continue in her absence.

DC - says that we should continue. GW agrees, saying that it's up to her to make an application to bring the witness back. J says that it's unfortunate that she didn't bring this up earlier. GW points out that SF is pregnant. J wants to make it clear then that he implies no criticism in his remarks about her.

MA would like to start at 9:30 a.m. on Monday to deal with pay over the holidays.

LB - with the change of SF not cross-examining, they may be short witnesses today. Snow won't be ready to return, if she is needed, until January 7th.

GW - says that he will be seeking the release of JoJo for over the holidays and is giving the court some warning that this will happen next week some time.

Jury is a minute late coming in. J: "Had to drag you in, did they?" Smiles from jury.

Agnes Snow (AS) back on witness stand.

MA - AS confirms that the video we watched yesterday of Mercredi in the camp was not shot by her. She confirms that she remembers seeing Percy on the tape yesterday, but doesn't know if he spoke more than what was shown on the tape.

MA asks about the traditional housing of the Shuswap. AS says they lived in underground homes and tepees. AS says the ground is dug up in a circular manner. They were six to eight feet deep and were covered with dirt. She says that she still sees these homes.

She confirms that the agreement that was made regarding the Sundance grounds is on James Cattle Company's letterhead. Councillor on there is Keray Camille. AS signed too. Witness was Antoine Archie. She never gave a copy to the camp because she couldn't get in. She knows that the police had a copy, but she never gave them one. She says that the police may have got a copy following the press conference. Ryan never asked her to take a copy into the camp. She isn't sure who Olfert or Porter is. She knows the native cops, like Findley and Andrew, who she saw in the summer of '95. Following Aug. 18th, she doesn't believe that she saw Andrew again. MA suggests that he was pulled out of there after that. AS agrees and said that she was pulled too. She explains that another group started handling things following the Alkali Lake meeting.

MA asks if she knows about the meeting that was supposed to take place before the Aug. 18th incident occurred. She says that she was dealing with Sarich and Montague. She clarifies that they didn't tell her specifically that she couldn't go back in after Aug. 18th.

MA asks if Sarich was around when she mentioned that her Band had begun the land claim process in '93. AS says that after the Aug. 18th incident, she told Sarich that this was in their traditional territory. She says that "we" refers to her and David Archie. She doesn't believe that Sarich was made aware of the land claim from her. She was elected in '92. She doesn't remember going to the RCMP and letting them know about the land claims.

She doesn't recall if she sent the RCMP a letter of the claim with an accompanying map. She says that the Band administrator would have a copy of that if she did send it to the police. MA asks her to look for that copy and to give it to the Crown.

She confirms that Keray Camille is a son-in-law of Lyle James. He is married to James' daughter, Suzie. Keray wasn't one of the people who drew up the agreement, but he was at the meeting. Harry Camille is Keray's father.

MA asks if the police ever asked her for her assistance in negotiations during the investigation. AS says that after Aug. 18th, she was present during press conferences, but another group had taken over. MA rephrases his question and asks if Montague or Olfert ever called her and asked for advice. After a long pause, she says that she had a meeting with them at the Red Coach Inn and they were asking for advice on the best way to approach dealing with the camp. They wanted to know what people would be useful to use. She confirms that Mike Webster was there too.

DC - says that yesterday, W intended to include the Orders-in-Council, which accompanied the Royal Proclamation, to also be made an exhibit. They are.

ST - is not ready to begin his cross.

J apologizes to AS that she will have to be recalled again.

No witness is ready until 1:30 p.m., so we are stood down until then.

L/ Jury in.

LB - Next witness (#71): Cst. Gary Michael Shinkaruk (GS) - 8 years with RCMP. Vancouver ERT member. Was called to Kamloops in Aug. '95.

On Sept. 11, he and team members were on Tiger South Road, just south of 35 km marker. At 2:00 p.m., he was present when a red truck went past his team. The red truck was detonated by one of the team members. His role was the hands-on person to arrest the driver of the truck. Mike Arnold was his partner, who was to assist in the arrest of the driver. Once the data sheet was detonated, there was a large amount of dust thrown up, which made it hard to see. He moved out of his location to see the outline of the truck. He heard shots and went down. One of the members said that two people were seen going into the bush. Immediately, the dog team got on the track and started following. GS followed. He learned later that the two shots were fired by police at a dog.

On the track, GS realized that it was a fresh track. He wasn't going at full speed because of all the equipment and vest, but was moving quickly. He didn't see the people they were chasing at any point.

On the path, a third to a half of the way in, he came across a magazine clip and picked it up and put it in his pocket. He continued with the pursuit. He saw the magazine was full and was a banana-style clip for an AK-47. He also found a pink shirt on the path. He didn't pick this up, but mentioned on the radio that there was a shirt and black gloves on the track. He found the gloves on the track. He left both items on the track.

Once they got to the east side of the lake, he saw two people in the lake - a dark haired and light haired person. He couldn't tell what sex they were. He could see them from the armpits up. They appeared to be walking. They were about 30-40 yards ahead of him and his team.

Both people's hair was long and straight - both seemed to be between 20 and 30. The darker haired person had a darker complexion and the lighter haired had a lighter complexion. Neither seemed to be wearing a shirt. Both were of slight builds. They were moving away from his team.

Across the lake, there was a blue car. A person was standing outside the car carrying a long barrelled gun. He thought the person was shooting at him because he heard about five shots come whistling past his location. GS also saw about five ripples in the water, which looked like bullets hitting the water. Neither he nor his team had fired up to this point, with the exception of shooting the dog.

GS says that he called for an APC to be brought in. He says that because they were being shot at, he wanted the bulletproof APC to come in to arrest the two people in the water. He saw the Red Bison come into view and move down to the lakeshore. Two people were in the water and halfway between GS and the Bison. The two people seemed to spend a lot of time in the water. The two people put their hands up and started to walk towards the Bison. GS saw one of the team members in the Bison pop up from a rear hatch and this member had a weapon aimed at the two people in the lake. The two seemed to be surrendering. Then GS heard a shot come from in front of the Bison - further away from the lake - and the member dropped back inside the Bison. The shot seemed to be coming from the treed area north of the Bison.

The Bison turned northward. GS heard another shot. Then he heard on the radio that the APC had become immobilized. At this time, GS was pretty much in the same spot where they had come out to the lake. GS clarifies that there are two points along the lake and he was actually at the second point when the APC became immobilized. He says that at some time, the team had moved further west along the lake to this second point.

While all this was happening, he heard a lot of shots and communications on the radio from people in the APC and the command group. He says that some of the shots coming from the woods were at one point also coming towards his team. He says that there seemed to be two areas where shots were coming from - north of the APC and northwest of the APC.

The two people in the lake waited around a bit and then ducked down. They began wading along the shoreline towards the camp. They went to a third point on the lake by a white dock and the people got out of the water there. They made their way up a fenceline. GS says that some of the team members had binoculars and at some time they reported that the two people had become armed.

GS says that the shots continued from two areas. He says that one was described as a sniper pit. On the small aerial photo, he shows the eastern fenceline. He also shows the pit that is east of the fenceline. GS says that later on, after this was described as a sniper area, he saw a person exit the pit area and move towards the fenceline. On the photo, he shows where the Bison site was and where he was. W asks GS to describe this area and to mark his position. ST suggests marking a photocopy of the area. J has GS mark W's copy of the aerial photograph. The jury asks to see this marked photo too. It is passed around to them.

GS says that from his position, he could observe the APC being fired on. He observed a person exit the sniper pit and move towards the fenceline. He hadn't seen that person enter the pit. GS says that the person in the pit did not appear to be one of the two people he saw exit the lake. He had heard shots coming from the area of the sniper pit before the person left the pit.

The person rolled along the ground to the fence area and then moved to the area of the camp. GS lost sight of the person then.

GS says that he was shooting at the area north of where the Bison was first by the lakeshore. He says that the people in the Bison said they saw a person at the two o'clock position 75 yards away from the Red Bison. He could see the Bison at this time. He was firing at this area 75 yards in front of the Bison. He didn't see where his bullets were landing, but is confident that they went into this area.

GS also fired into the sniper pit area until the person left the area. GS didn't see the person armed.

GS stayed around until the Red Bison was towed away. He then returned to the area of the red truck and then to Zulu. At Zulu, he passed the banana clip to Sgt. Bob Grey. The exhibit of the clip is shown to GS. He confirms that it appears to be the same, though he says that he didn't mark it. The only difference is that the bullets were in the magazine and not separate like they are in the bag.

GW - GS says that he has been in the RCMP for nine years now - eight years in ERT. He was called into area on 27 Aug. GW suggests that there was a plan to intercept a red truck. GS agrees that there was a plan to disable the red truck should it appear. He was assigned to arrest the occupants of the truck. GS says that he was assigned that role by either Kevin Mann, the team leader, or Armstrong, the second in command. GS didn't see the truck when it came up. He was beside Mike Arnold in a ditch next to the road. The first thing he saw was a large cloud of dust and then heard a couple of shots.

He confirms that he later heard that the dog was shot. GW asks where the reference to the dog is in his very neat notes. GS says that it isn't in his notes. GS confirms that he didn't report the dog being killed. He agrees that he later heard that Staff Sgt. Debolt and another member had shot the dog. Debolt is stationed in Richmond and is part of GS's ERT team. GW suggests that he didn't record this because it might be controversial. "That is absolutely preposterous." He agrees that he didn't note the discharge of an officer's weapon. He says that the notes are only designed to help his memory and he clearly remembers this without his notes.

GW suggests that GS didn't note some other things. GW says that GS didn't testify about two shots that occurred that were fired by the RCMP towards the people who had their hands up. GS claims that he didn't hear these two shots. He did hear two shots come from in front of the APC, but not from the officers in the APC. GS says this is the first time he has ever heard it suggested that the officer in the APC fired at the people in the lake. GS confirms that he had a clear view, but could not see two shots fired at the people, though he saw two shots being fired at the Bison. GS agrees that he thinks GW is wrong. GS says that he has no memory of people in the Bison firing at people in the lake. GW has GS check his notebook just to be sure. GS confirms he has no note of people in the Bison firing at people in the lake.

GW has GS read a line from his notebook. GS reads that a member sticks his head out of the APC and then GS hears a shot and then the member drops back down. GW puts it to GS that he did hear and see Maloney shoot two rounds into the lake. GS claims that he doesn't know who Maloney is. He only knows Arseneault and Lafond in the APC. GW suggests that GS has omitted incidents of RCMP conduct. GS says that in Vancouver, he is in the homicide unit. He says that he knows it's important to note important events. He confirms that he didn't note the dog being shot nor the officers shooting from the APC, but points out that he did mention his own shooting incidents. GW says that we will get to that.

GW asks GS to show the jury the bunker area near the fenceline. He says that is was east of the fenceline. GW asks if GS actually saw the bunker. GS says that he saw the area, but the bunker was well camouflaged. GS says that he saw an area in the ground that contained a person who came up - he presumes that the person was standing in a hole. GW notes that GS only presumed this. GS says he knows this. He says that he heard shooting from the area and then saw a person pop out of the ground. He says it's common sense to presume that he came out of a hole and sarcastically asks GW, "Did he just vaporize?" GS is getting nervous.

GS says that he knows that there is a bunker on that side of the fence. GS says that he went back to that area later and saw a bunker in the area. GW asks if this was east of the fence. GS says that it was. GS saw this on the final day he was there, on Sept. 18, when a search was done in the area. GS believes it was done on the 18th. GW asks if GS was on the north side of Gustafsen Lake during the search. GS confirms he was when he assisted in a grid search of the area. GW asks GS to show the jury where he went on Sept. 18th. On the small aerial photo, GS shows that he searched the area near the arbour, near the camp, north of the camp and along the shoreline. GW asks if he searched in the bunker area. GS says he didn't. Others did. GS says that he was made aware of different items that had been found in the search.

GW asks GS point blank if he went to the bunker area on the 18th. GS says that he did. He says he saw the bunker. GW asks if it was on the east side of the fenceline. GS replies by saying that on Sept. 11th, he saw a person move from a bunker to a fence and on the 18th, he went back to an area that was consistent with what he saw. GW suggests that he is wrong. GS disagrees, saying that he is right. A man in the gallery yells out. The J has him evicted.

GW sees that in GS's notebook, GS says that two "males" were seen in the lake, but notes that in his chief examination, GS said he saw two "persons". GS looks in his notebook and confirms that he originally wrote down two males and agrees that he testified that he saw two persons. GW suggests that GS knows from his work that it is very important to tell the truth in court and not to slant the evidence. GS agrees, but says that males are persons. GW says that GS knows what he is getting at. GW suggests that GS has no reason to explain why he changed his testimony from his notes. GS says he does have a reason. GS says that after he wrote his notes, he learned that one of the persons might have been a female. GW suggests that after he wrote his notes, he had a discussion. GS doesn't recall who the discussion was with. GS denies that he forgot who he had the discussion with because he doesn't want to embarrass the officers he's working with. GS looks more nervous.

GW asks at what point he changed his testimony from "males" to "persons". GS says that he told LB that he saw two males in the lake before he testified. GS agrees that before he testified, he heard from other RCMP that one of the other persons was a female.

GS claims that he doesn't know what member told him this. GW incredulously asks GS, "You don't know who told you?" GW asks if he knows whether the member told him that it was a female or did GS ask the member if there was a female there. GS doesn't remember. GS says he didn't ask an officer if one of the people was a female. GW suggests that GS investigated on his own who was in the lake prior to testifying in order to slant his testimony. GS says that he didn't mean in any way to mislead the jury. He would like to explain himself.

GS says that before the red truck was blown up, Marsh and Hodgkin were in a forward position watching the road. GS says they saw two males walking around with weapons. Wescam saw the people doing push-ups. Marsh and Hodgkin reported two males driving by with weapons before the truck was blown up. When GS saw the two people later in the water, he saw no shirts on them and thought that they were male. Based on these observations, he believed that they were males and still believes this. He says later, he had discussions and was made aware that one of the people was a female. He apologizes if this appeared to be misleading the jury.

AB/ J tells the jury that the person he ejected from the gallery has apologized and the J has allowed him back in.

GW cont'd with Cst. Shinkaruk - Madam Reporter reads back a question that LB had asked GS. GS was asked if he could tell whether the people in the lake were male or female and he testified that he couldn't tell. GS agrees that he wrote in his notebook that they were males.

GW asks then if the notebook that he gave the Crown was not correct. GS says that when he wrote the notes, he believed it to be true. GS again apologizes to the jury if it appears to the jury that he tried to mislead them. GS agrees with GW that it's important to write down what he believes to be true. He says that he doesn't believe he changed his testimony a whole lot. GW suggests that his testimony is different from what his notes said. GS agrees. He also agrees that had he testified in Sept. '95, he would have sworn they were two males, but now that he has spoken to an officer, he would testify differently.

GW suggests that GS didn't report the dog being killed because he didn't want to embarrass the officers involved. GW suggests that GS saw the police shooting at the people in the lake. GS says that he didn't.

W - asks how long it took GS for him to get from the red pickup to his first position on the lake. GS says a few minutes. W suggests that he is relying on the Wescam footage for his testimony. GS says that he is relying on his own recollection. GS says that it was a couple of minutes. W says that this was a half mile through very heavily wooded forest. GS agrees. W suggests that he is using Wescam footage to get times to streamline his testimony. GS denies this. W questions if he could really run that fast. W suggests that GS would do well running in the Olympics. Some laughter in the gallery. J says that this is a comment for the jury. W withdraws this.

W suggests that the truck was blown up at the same time as the elders were coming in. GS agrees. W asks why the elders weren't stopped and suggests that the police wanted to get them caught in the crossfire. GS says that the elders were away from the scene of the shooting. W suggests that the people in the APC were firing in all kinds of directions. GS doesn't know. W suggests that some of the fire that GS was experiencing was coming from the APC. J says that this is a submission for the jury.

W asks GS to show where the Red Bison was when he saw it. GS shows on the aerial photo where the Bison ended up. W suggests that there are a lot of trees between where the Bison ended up and where GS was positioned. GS says that the photos are misleading and says that some of the green that looks like trees is in fact greenery in the water. On the ground, he could see better through the trees. GS maintains that he could see the APC from both of his positions on the east side of the lake. ST asks GS to show the jury on the marked photograph where the APC ended up. GS does this.

W suggests that GS couldn't see through the timber to see the APC from either of his two positions. GS says that he definitely saw the APC when he fired 75 yards to the two o'clock position. A jury member asks where two o'clock is. GS says that two o'clock was to the right of the APC - east of it - with the APC at twelve o'clock. GS says that he fired about 30 rounds. He went out to the field with about 100 rounds. There were eight people in his group, but he doesn't know how many rounds they fired. He doesn't know how many rounds they were carrying - that was a personal choice.

W asks how many rounds were coming from the APC. GS says that once the firing got intense, he couldn't tell where they were coming from. He doesn't know if the APCs fired at all.

He couldn't tell where the fire was coming from, except from the area of the APC. He estimates that he heard thousands of rounds. W asks how many rounds an APC has. GS says he doesn't know. W says that some army weapons were being used. GS says that there were different weapons he heard, but says he's no expert. He remembers hearing shots that were more of a booming sound that were different from the others - "definitely a large calibre weapon." W asks if this was a .50 calibre weapon. GS says that he isn't an expert and couldn't say. W asks if GS saw a .50 calibre weapon there. He never saw any. W says that the people in the camp heard large calibre weapons being fired by the RCMP. GS says that he never fired one and to the best of his knowledge, he didn't know of the RCMP having any. He doesn't know if the army had any.

W says that testimony over the months has changed to cover up the lies. He suggests that GS is using Wescam footage to help his testimony. GS says that the only Wescam footage he referred to was the information that two people were doing sit-ups on the road. GS says that he only referred to Wescam regarding his run from the truck to the lake because he was suggesting that the Wescam could give him a better idea of the timelines involved. GS says that when he called in to Zulu his finds on the trail, this could be checked on Wescam.

W says that the dog master testified that it took longer to cover the distance than GS testified because they kept hunkering down every 50 yards. W wonders why there is a difference. GS says that he doesn't remember stopping every 50 yards, though they stopped momentarily to check open areas. W says that this would have taken him longer than a couple of minutes then. GS says that Wescam would give a better estimate of time.

ST - wants to wait for more disclosures before crossing this witness.

DC - GS says that he could hear Wescam on his radio and confirms that most of the members could hear this too. GS confirms that at one checkpoint, there was a live feed from the Wescam, which members could look at. GS says that in his area, there was no way to watch Wescam footage. DC suggests that there was also a video room set up so that members could watch taped Wescam footage. GS agrees. He also agrees that members were encouraged to watch these to learn about what was going on.

GS says that the two people left the lake and went up the fenceline, though not together. He didn't fire at those people. He says that he couldn't say if other members did - he doesn't know. DC asks if there was discussion regarding this. GS says there may have been, but he can't recall.

GS was with Mercer, Al Duplantie, Stan Brooks, Sgt. Armstrong, Mike Arnold - all from his team. A Nelson member also joined up with him, but he doesn't recall his name. Steve Arthur was there too.

GS confirms that some of these people also fired their weapons. GS knows that people around him discharged their weapons, but doesn't know if everyone did. DC asks if his group fired in excess of 100 rounds. He doesn't know.

GS confirms that around this time he became aware of a bunker from members with binoculars. He says that the bunker area was a little north of where the two people came out of the water. He confirms that the top part of the bunker was well camouflaged to look like bush. DC suggests that, in fact, maybe he saw a bush with someone laying behind it and that this might explain what he saw. GS pauses a while. He says that others told him that this was a bunker area. DC suggests that what he saw - a person getting up - could have been someone raising up from behind a bush 18 inches tall. He agrees that this could be what he saw. He confirms he saw no weapon in the person's hands.

GS agrees that he found a clip on the ground and that the dog didn't lead him to it to indicate that the clip had the same scent as the people the dog was following. DC reads from GS's notes about a shot from an unseen sniper when the people in the lake have their hands up. GS agrees that this note indicates a single shot. He also agrees that he testified that one shot was fired that made a member in the APC drop back down. GS agrees that if there were several shots he would know that, but maintains that he only heard a single shot. When the APC went north, he also heard only a single shot.

  * Monday, December 9 - no court         * Day 90: Thursday, December 12
  * Tuesday, December 10 - no court       * Day 91: Friday, December 13
  * Day 89: Wednesday, December 11