Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

After a brief synapse, another Taman stream of consciousness....

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Returned from vacation in time to take in the final submissions of Taman inquiry commission counsel David Paciocco. For those who have not attended judicial inquiries, the final submission stage usually begins with a massive analysis of all the evidence heard by the chief commission counsel, who is in charge of the investigation performed by the inquiry and direct examinations of all witnesses. It is typically among the most interesting, and hard-hitting, parts of any proceeding like this.True to the form we have seen throughout the inquiry proceedings, Paciocco did not mince his words. At the morning break, we have only heard a summary of the role and performance of the East St. Paul police that responded to and investigated the tragic collision that claimed Crystal Taman's life in February 2005. A more detailed account by my colleague Aldo Santin now available on the FP web site captures the mood of Paciocco's powerful submission. In his opening volley, Paciocco summarized his findings by concluding that the investigation of Taman's death, and the prosecution of Derek Harvey-Zenk, the off-duty cop who killed her, was a complete "failure of justice."Paciocco is now working systematically through the various players in the miscarriage of justice. Most of the morning is focused on the East St. Paul police force and the failure of former Chief Harry Bakema and others who handled the investigation. What is interesting so far is the fact that Paciocco most definitely believes Bakema and others deliberately manipulated the investigation and suppressed evidence to subvert efforts to hold Harvey-Zenk responsible for the collision.Of course, only inquiry commissioner Roger Salhany will be able to make that formal finding. But he will be heavily influenced by Paciocco's submissions.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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