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Taman inquiry - a stream of consciousness

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Occasional breaking dispatches from the Taman inquiry for Monday July 14:East St. Paul Chief Norm Carter finished up this morning. Over three days of sometimes gruelling questioning, Carter was forced to admit his contributions to one of the sloppiest criminal investigations ever. And yet, it's hard to get away from the fact that Carter was at least trying to be a good cop. It appears the combination of a horrible fatality, and the involvement of an off-duty Winnipeg cop, combined to create a hurricane that Carter couldn't contain or effectively navigate. He did make mistakes in handling the suspect, Derek Harvey-Zenk, messed up his notes and made poor decisions about how to conduct the investigation. But did he sink the case against Harvey-Zenk? No.This afternoon, we're supposed to hear from former ESP chief Harry Bakema, and it's going to get pretty interesting from this point on. Bakema has been soundly, roundly criticized by many witnesses. The testimony has been so bad for him to date that he's been painted into a pretty tight corner. Several witnesses have essentially suggested Bakema tried to scuttle the case against Harvey-Zenk to help a fellow cop. Others testified he was just plain incompetent. Bakema will likely offer a lot of spice to the inquiry - it's expected he's going to point a lot of accusing fingers back at his accusers.Stay tuned.

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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