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Taman stream of consciousness (5)

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A fascinating beginning to Tuesday's proceedings.First, commission counsel David Paciocco revealed that the "investigative matter" that arose the day before - and which required an early adjournment - was an interview with Tracy Fudge, another of the police officers who partied with Derek Harvey-Zenk the night and early morning before Crystal Taman was killed. Essentially, she was allowed to testify in-camera because she is working undercover and could not appear in public at the inquiry. Her testimony, and an earlier statement to the commission, have been entered as evidence for all to read.Paciocco brought up a second matter that will likely end up being the news of the day. Paciocco told Commissioner Roger Salhany that he is having trouble getting the Winnipeg Police Service to turn over all of its documents related to Derek Harvey-Zenk. Paciocco had to ask Salhany to caution the WPS to read the terms of reference of the inquiry, and rules for disclose, and turn over a series of additional documents it is withholding.Shannon Hanlin, WPS counsel, made a brief but futile attempt to argue the documents were not relevant. She said the documents in question deal with adminstrative matters related to internal dealings with Harvey-Zenk, and not the investigation of Crystal Taman's death.Salhany would have none of it. He ordered the WPS to turn over the documents and if it turned out they were not relevant, he would return them and they would not be revealed at the inquiry. Hanlin retreated to her chair.This is not the first time the WPS has been spanked for not disclosing all relevant information. In the James Driskell and Thomas Sophonow cases, the police were summarily criticized for withholding various internal reports. It boggles the mind how, after being so roundly slapped for those cases, the WPS could fall into the same trap again.Read more on this in my column in tomorrow's dead-tree FP.*****Testimony continues this morning with Cst. Dave Harding, another of the officers who drank the night and early morning hours away with Harvey-Zenk. News flash - Harding couldn't actually remember seeing anyone drinking that night, didn't know if anyone was intoxicated, and had no specific knowledge of Harvey-Zenk's condition when he departed the party just before 7 AM.The most damaging part of Harding's testimony is related, as it turns out, to Fudge's in-camera testimony. She said after leaving Black's house, the returned to a restaurant parking lot where Harding had left his car. According to Fudge's in-camera testimony, Harding was still intoxicated and was intent on driving home. Fudge said she and another officer had to "wrestle" Harding's keys away from him.The plot thickens.More later.-30-

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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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