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Surrey RCMP Hide Exculpatory Evidence - Man Does Four Years - OOPS Sorry


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#1 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

There is a legal duty on Crown Counsel to disclose exculpatory evidence to criminal defence attorneys and failure to do so can result in Crown Counsel facing serious sanctions including disbarment.

But the police concealing material evidence - OOPS sorry.

I recognize, and understand, that the general public will have concerns about this incident. I share those concerns and deeply regret the impacts these mistakes may have had on all those involved. As the Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP, I apologize for the mistakes that were made.


When the mistakes were brought to my attention, I, and other senior managers, took the corrective steps available to us - consulting the appropriate persons within the Criminal Justice Branch, and asking another police department to conduct an independent review and investigation.


Two more men have now been charged with sexual assault. As these matters are now before the courts, we are unable to comment further. ~Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, the Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP


In this case Gurdhev Singh Dhillon was convicted in October 2005 and sentenced to four years in jail in connection with a sexual assault which allegedly took place in 2004. Two other men have now been charged with the crime.

It now turns out that the Surrey RCMP investigators had evidence which would have supported Dhillon's defence to the charge but that evidence was not forwarded to Crown Counsel. Subsequently Crown discovered this had occurred.

An investigation was undertaken by Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson who concluded that there was grave miscarriage of justice.

Here is the press release from the Criminal Justice Branch:

February 20, 2013 13-03


Special Prosecutor Concludes Miscarriage of Justice Has Occurred


Victoria – The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced today that in September 2011, the then Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Branch appointed Peter Wilson, QC as a Special Prosecutor to review a 2005 conviction for sexual assault against Gurdev Singh Dhillon. The review was initiated after the Branch became aware of evidence that was not made available to Crown Counsel or to the defence at the time of Mr. Dhillon’s trial, or on his subsequent appeal from conviction.


In light of the nature of the evidence, the Branch decided that an independent review of Mr. Dhillon’s conviction was in the public interest, to determine whether a miscarriage of justice had occurred.


The Special Prosecutor has completed the review. Based on his consideration of the material as a whole, and in light of the issues raised at Mr. Dhillon’s trial, the Special Prosecutor has concluded that a miscarriage of justice occurred. This conclusion relates to the fairness of Mr. Dhillon's trial based on non-disclosure to him of material evidence


The Special Prosecutor has recommended to the Criminal Justice Branch that Mr. Dhillon be provided with full disclosure of the materials reviewed by the Special Prosecutor and an opportunity to apply to have his conviction set aside, either by way of an application to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal, or by an application for ministerial review under Part XXI.1 of the Criminal Code. The Special Prosecutor recommends that it be left to the discretion of Mr. Dhillon and his legal counsel to determine which course of action to pursue.


Gurdev Singh Dhillon was convicted of sexual assault in October 2005 following a trial in British Columbia Provincial Court (Surrey). The offence was said to have occurred on July 7, 2004. The case against Mr. Dhillon included an in court identification of him as one of the perpetrators of the sexual assault, and other evidence of his presence at the scene.


Based on the evidence before the Court, the trial judge was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Dhillon was one of two men who were alleged to have sexually assaulted the complainant. Following his conviction, Mr. Dhillon was sentenced to four years in prison. Subsequent appeals to the Court of Appeal from both conviction and sentence were dismissed in 2006.


In 2011, as a result of ongoing investigation by police into the identity of the second alleged perpetrator of the sexual assault, Crown Counsel learned of the existence of material evidence that had not been disclosed to the Crown either at the time of Mr. Dhillon’s trial or his appeal from conviction. Because this material was not in the possession of Crown Counsel, it was never disclosed to Mr. Dhillon or his counsel at any point.


On September 23, 2011, then Assistant Deputy Attorney General Robert W.G. Gillen, QC appointed Peter Wilson, QC as a Special Prosecutor to provide an assessment on whether a miscarriage of justice had occurred. If so, Mr. Wilson was given the authority to identify and take remedial steps to rectify the matter.


Mr. Wilson was given a further mandate to conduct a charge assessment review of any Report to Crown Counsel that might be submitted by the investigating agency in relation to other suspects in the case, and to take conduct of any prosecution and subsequent appeals should charges be approved against any other individuals.


An investigative report was subsequently delivered to Mr. Wilson by the Delta Police Department, who had assumed conduct of the investigation from the RCMP, and he has also completed his review of that report. Mr. Wilson has approved a charge of sexual assault against both Mohammed Zaaid Ukhttar and Sital Singh Bhatti. An information charging these two persons with sexual assault was sworn on February 12, 2013 in Provincial Court in Surrey. A first appearance in the case has been scheduled for April 5, 2013 in Surrey.


Given that this matter now involves an ongoing prosecution, it would not be appropriate to release additional information on the review of Mr. Dhillon’s conviction, or on the charges against Mr. Ukhttar and Mr. Bhatti.

http://www.ag.gov.bc...iageJustice.pdf

It is long past time to boot the RCMP out of BC.
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#2 stexx

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

wow that is horrible, what would the fallout be if we did axe the RCMP from BC? or what is the benefit to BC to keep them does it save us money?
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#3 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

wow that is horrible, what would the fallout be if we did axe the RCMP from BC? or what is the benefit to BC to keep them does it save us money?

This is one of the lesser screw-ups by the RCMP. The RCMP are disaster. They cause any number of problems and they do not "play well with others" They seem to have this inflated sense of self-importance and who knows why given their recent abysmal performance in so many areas. The RCMP is a broken dysfunctional organization as various studies and reports have found and this has been emphasized by any number of examples and lack of performance.

Can we afford to have these bozos in policing in BC?

The Oppal Inquiry into the Pickton serial murder investigation recommended a Metro Vancouver police force because of serious shortcomings and just plain incompetence of the RCMP.


An amalgamated police service in Metro Vancouver could be operational in three years if there is support from political and policing leaders, a regional policing expert says,


But history shows that could be a big “if.”


The hot-potato issue of regional policing returned to the spotlight Monday after the release of former attorney general Wally Oppal’s report into how a serial killer was able to lure vulnerable woman from Vancouver streets to his Port Coquitlam farm for years without being caught.


As one of the hefty report’s 65 recommendations, Oppal said amalgamating police agencies would eliminate municipal boundaries and reduce the chances of another Robert Pickton operating undetected again.


It is an issue that has been debated for three decades in the Metro area, which there are five municipal forces and 17 areas served by the RCMP.


As one of the most vocal cheerleaders for amalgamating police services, Simon Fraser University criminology professor Robert Gordon said such a service wouldn’t necessarily save taxpayers money (as the bulk of policing costs is salaries) but would ensure more efficiencies, such as improved sharing of resources and less duplication of specialized police units.


“You could set up a Metro Vancouver police service with all the bells and whistles within three years if you start tomorrow. It’s not that hard to to do. The big problem is the pushback from (police brass) and municipal politicians,” said Gordon, a former police officer.


Gordon said the province must take a leadership role, but fears the lukewarm response from politicians on Monday means little will be done on the controversial issue before the May 2013 election.


“Unless this becomes an election issue, I think this (idea) will gather dust on the shelf,” he said.


Justice Minister Shirley Bond said regional policing “deserves further discussion,” and NDP justice critic Leonard Krog said the idea “needs to be looked at very, very carefully,” but stopped short of endorsing it.


Bond did, however, add that the 20-year contract recently inked with the RCMP to provide policing in some B.C. municipalities does not preclude pursuing a regional force because the agreement can be cancelled with two years’ notice.


Oppal’s report said Metro Vancouver is the only large city in Canada without a regional police force. This patchwork of agencies contributed to the failures in the missing women case, it said, including poor communication and coordination between Vancouver police and Coquitlam RCMP.


“It is clear from the evidence that a regional police force stood a good chance of apprehending Robert Pickton much earlier,” wrote Oppal, a former B.C. Appeal Court justice who penned a different report in 1994 that also called for amalgamating policing.


“(The province) must move beyond the debate to practical planning.... A decisive step must be taken to break this impasse.”


Toronto was the first Canadian city with a regional force, and police from Ontario told Oppal the benefits include better equipment, staffing and specialty squads.


Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson strongly supports a regional force, arguing it would improve public safety and reduce the risk of cross-boundary mistakes.


“There’s a range of opinion around Metro Vancouver mayors and councils and the direction needs to come from Victoria,” he said. “This must be a priority now. We can no longer maintain a system that allowed that tragic failure. It’s unconscionable.”


Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu stopped short of endorsing Oppal’s recommendation, saying it is up to political leaders to do so.


“If we were to design the ideal policing structure for the greater Vancouver region, I don’t think we would design what we have now. But it’s our role ... to work the best we can within the existing structure,” Chu said.


He referenced a 2008 report prepared by the VPD and SFU researchers, which says the region’s current policing model has created funding and service inequalities.


Oppal’s report said the RCMP has taken no official position on the issue.


But West Vancouver Police Chief Peter Lepine said there have been major improvements in radio communications, data sharing and cooperation between police agencies over the last 15 years. It is “hogwash” to suggest one large metropolitan service is necessary to solve crimes that cross jurisdictional boundaries.


“To those who would say, ‘We should dump all these municipal police serves and go with one agency,’ I would ask them for the evidence that is a better model.” said Lepine, a former Mountie who worked in Halifax when agencies were amalgamated in 2002.


He argued Pickton went undetected for years not because of fragmented police services but because of a lack of leadership from the police managers.


But former VPD Det. Kim Rossmo said historically created separate police agencies are no longer realistic today, as criminals can travel on the SkyTrain through several cities within minutes.


Rossmo, now a university professor in Texas, said it is no coincidence most major metropolitan areas — Montreal, Calgary, New York, Los Angeles and London — all have regional police services.


“I really praise Commissioner Oppal for saying, ‘Enough with the studies, and let’s do this.’”

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Metro+Vancouver+regional+police+force+feasible+within+three+years+expert+says/7717520/story.html#ixzz2LUNMfS2D

For more of RCMP follies see:
http://forum.canucks.../#entry11068623
http://forum.canucks.../#entry10338881
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#4 ThaBestPlaceOnEarth

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:42 PM

The way in which B.C. refers matters from police to Crown is terribly outdated. If we'd get with the times and move to an integrated system it would go a long ways towards preventing this sort of thing.
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#5 key2thecup

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:51 PM

Wow, 4 years for something you never did...... and the victim sat in court saying it was this man?!
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#6 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

The way in which B.C. refers matters from police to Crown is terribly outdated. If we'd get with the times and move to an integrated system it would go a long ways towards preventing this sort of thing.

Actually it is considered the best way - charging decisions are taken out of the hands of police via the charge approval process. Leaving charge decisions in the hands of untrained police officers is a bad idea. Hard to argue with that when you see police wrongdoing and malfeasance like this. Crown Counsel's duty is not to get convictions but do justice and they are officers of the court subject to an enforceable code of conduct.

This happened because RCMP officers disregarded the clear law and direction from the Supreme Court on this issue. R. v. Stinchcombe, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 326:

"The Crown has a legal duty to disclose all relevant information to the defence. The fruits of the investigation which are in its possession are not the property of the Crown for use in securing a conviction but the property of the public to be used to ensure that justice is done."


Per the Code of Professional Conduct for BC Lawyers:

When engaged as a Crown prosecutor, a lawyer’s primary duty is not to seek a conviction but to see that justice is done; to that end the lawyer should make timely disclosure to the defence of all facts and known witnesses whether tending to show guilt or innocence, or that would affect the punishment of the accused.


And from the BC Ministry of Justice


Role of Crown Counsel


Crown counsel are prosecutors who work for B.C.’s prosecution service - the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice. The Criminal Justice Branch operates independently of government and within the justice system. They do not represent the government, the police or the victim of an offence. The courts have described the role of Crown counsel in Canada as a quasi-judicial function and a matter of significant public duty. In our system of justice, when a crime is committed against a victim, it is also a crime against our society as a whole. Therefore, prosecutors do not represent individual victims; they perform their function on behalf of the community.


Crown counsel are entrusted with the prosecution of all offences and appeals in British Columbia related to the Criminal Code of Canada and provincial regulatory offences. Crown Counsel advise government on all criminal law matters and develop policies and procedures for the administration of criminal justice in British Columbia.


The responsibilities of Crown counsel are defined in the Crown Counsel Act. The act ensures the independence of the prosecution service. Prosecutors are guided by the policies of the Criminal Justice Branch and they are ultimately accountable to the assistant deputy attorney general (ADAG). Under the act, the ADAG is head of the Criminal Justice Branch and is responsible for the administration of the branch and the day-to-day operations of the prosecution service. While the Attorney General is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in the province, the Attorney General does not normally become involved in prosecution decisions relating to individual cases.


It is Crown counsel who lay charges in British Columbia. They review investigation reports from police and investigative agencies and conduct a charge assessment in relation to offences under the Criminal Code, Youth Criminal Justice Act or under provincial statutes. Charging decisions are made in accordance with the branch’s charge assessment guidelines policy, which requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest. Crown counsel make their charge assessment and other prosecutorial decisions impartially, independent of any outside influence, including political influence.


Where there is a significant possibility of a perceived or real improper influence on the prosecution process, the head of the prosecution service – the ADAG of the Criminal Justice Branch – will appoint a respected lawyer from outside the prosecution service as a Special Prosecutor to handle the case.


While B.C. prosecutors conduct prosecutions vigorously once they have made a principled charge approval decision, based on the prosecution service standards, their first duty is to ensure the trial process is fair to all, evidence is presented thoroughly and accurately and the independence and integrity of the justice process is maintained. Their duty as professionals is not to obtain a conviction at any cost but, rather, to ensure that justice is done in a fair, impartial, efficient and respectful manner.


The police do not have a similar imperative.

Charge Assessment Guidelines
http://www.ag.gov.bc...es-2Oct2009.pdf

Charge Assessment Decision – Police Appeal
http://www.ag.gov.bc...l-18Nov2005.pdf

Charge Assessment – Social Regulatory Offences
http://www.ag.gov.bc...es-15Sep200.pdf
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#7 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

Wow, 4 years for something you never did...... and the victim sat in court saying it was this man?!

Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable but when the police withhold evidence that would be exculpatory for the accused, that is the only evidence. Plus the police have also been guilty of coaching and tainting eye witness evidence in the past. Just good police work, right?
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Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

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Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#8 Dral

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:07 PM

It's not the "RCMP" that's the problem - it's certain individuals working for the RCMP.

It's time to stop blaming inanimate concepts and start blaming individuals - hold a person responsible for their actions.
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Fruits?

Lord Peaches' gut is telling him that the drunken fool, aka Dral, is 100% mafia.

 MVP?

Dral is 100% mafia or I will masteb_ _ _ _ a cow and like it

GOATis?

Vig kill dral he never talks like this when he's not mafia.

 


#9 hudson bay rules

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:14 PM

"Dhillon's defence lawyer submitted to the court that he was "hanging in the background most of the time," the court decision said."
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#10 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:18 PM

It's not the "RCMP" that's the problem - it's certain individuals working for the RCMP.

It's time to stop blaming inanimate concepts and start blaming individuals - hold a person responsible for their actions.

Not according to various reports and studies. The problem is the RCMP itself. The system produces and protects those individuals.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

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#11 hudson bay rules

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:20 PM

"Dhillon's defence lawyer submitted to the court that he was "hanging in the background most of the time," the court decision said."


4 years is ok in my book
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#12 Dral

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

Not according to various reports and studies. The problem is the RCMP itself. The system produces and protects those individuals.


No, the people within the system produce and protect those individuals.

There are lots of lawyers who are unethical, corrupt and downright slimey. Maybe we should kick all the lawyers out of BC.

Or maybe we could just start holding individuals accountable for their actions.
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Fruits?

Lord Peaches' gut is telling him that the drunken fool, aka Dral, is 100% mafia.

 MVP?

Dral is 100% mafia or I will masteb_ _ _ _ a cow and like it

GOATis?

Vig kill dral he never talks like this when he's not mafia.

 


#13 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

4 years is ok in my book

Given the Special Prosecutor's report how is that opinion supportable?
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

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#14 Wetcoaster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

No, the people within the system produce and protect those individuals.

There are lots of lawyers who are unethical, corrupt and downright slimey. Maybe we should kick all the lawyers out of BC.

Or maybe we could just start holding individuals accountable for their actions.

Lawyers are held accountable for their actions.

The problem is that the structure of the RCMP is such that individuals are not only not held responsible but the system in place encourages such behaviours. That is why the RCMP has been termed a broken and dysfunctional organization - the disciplinary system does not function.. See Post #3 for links to the reports.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

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Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#15 Aladeen

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

4 years is ok in my book

yup if he just stood there watching getting his jollies it should be the minimum he gets.
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#16 canuck_trevor16

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:04 PM

RCMP is corrupt and is more worse than those commiting the crimes.....cover up and lying promoting officers lack of accountability
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#17 n00bxQb

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:28 PM

yup if he just stood there watching getting his jollies it should be the minimum he gets.

So if you witness a crime and do nothing about it, you should get 4 years in prison without a fair trial or a fair appeal? Seems legit.

Who said he was "getting his jollies?" Maybe he was fearful of what would happen if he spoke up. Maybe he went into panic mode and he couldn't compose himself? You have no idea what happened. Feel free to continue blaming the victim, though.
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#18 hudson bay rules

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

So if you witness a crime and do nothing about it, you should get 4 years in prison without a fair trial or a fair appeal? Seems legit.

Who said he was "getting his jollies?" Maybe he was fearful of what would happen if he spoke up. Maybe he went into panic mode and he couldn't compose himself? You have no idea what happened. Feel free to continue blaming the victim, though.


If one is around a girl being gang raped the very least one should do is get the frack out of there not hang around in the peripheries. . Stepping in is what a real man should do however.
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