Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/8/2008 (2821 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
We have arrived at the final day of hearings, which will feature submissions from counsel representing Derek Harvey-Zenk
, the off-duty cop who killed Crystal Taman
, Marty Minuk
, the special prosecutor who cut the plea bargain, and Manitoba Justice
. As was the case Wednesday, this is the last opportunity for these lawyers to create sympathy for their clients before inquiry commissioner Roger Salhany
writes his final report.Wednesday's proceedings certainly left the impression Salhany is growing short-tempered with some of the arguments being put before him. In particular, Salhany was quite animated about the submission of Shannon Hanlin
, counsel for the Winnipeg Police Service. He expressed anger about the manner and substance of her arguments to such an extent, she quite obviously cut short her oral submission. On Thursday morning, Salhany opened proceedings with an apology to Hanlin and lauded her written submission.Out of this exchange, however, many in the hearing room are wondering whether Salhany is merely exhausted and stressed by the pace of the inquiry - which has been brisk - or whether this is a tell on his frustration with the sometimes untenable arguments they made in defence of the police officers and prosecutors involved in this tragedy.Despite the fact that judges are trained to be dispassionate, throughout proceedings Salhany (a retired judge of the Ontario Superior Court) has demonstrated a lack of patience with untenable or clumsy arguments. Part of this is due to the fact he has been quite open about not going to go into overtime to finish testimony or submissions. Are these flashes of anger a preview of his final assessment of the performance of police and prosecutors in this case? Or is this confirmation that Salhany is a judge who takes pride in being punctual in all that he does, and doesn't suffer those who don't share his work eithic? We won't know for sure until we read the final report.Lawyer Jay Prober
, who represents Harvey-Zenk, delivered a brief but pointed submission. He chastized media for reporting earlier in the inquiry on facts harmful to Harvey-Zenk's reputation that were later shown to be erroneous. He also pointed out that while the public is angry about the consequences of Harvey-Zenk's actions, he did nothing himself to derail the investigation or prosecution, which is the true subject of this inquiry.There had been much speculation that Prober would offer a new apology on behalf of his client. Harvey-Zenk did not make an apology while on the stand at the inquiry, despite being afforded the chance by commission counsel. He was soundly criticized for that decision.Prober addressed this concern by reading into the inquiry record the extensive apology he offered at his sentencing last year. The apology does seem, on the face of it, to be very heartfelt although it is understandable the Taman family is not moved by his words. Taman's husband, Robert Taman
, and his entire family walked out of the hearings on Wednesday when counsel for Winnipeg Police was making his final submission. They did not leave when Prober was making his submission, although there was a moment when Robert Taman pushed his chair back and appeared on the edge of leaving.More later.....-30-