by The Canadian Press - Story: 68152
Dec 5, 2011 / 2:29 pm
The RCMP officers who confronted Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport the night the Polish man died are scheduled to stand trial on perjury charges late next year and 2013.
Dziekanski died after he was stunned multiple times with a Taser in October 2007, prompting a high-profile public inquiry in which the officers took the stand to defend their actions.
The Mounties weren't charged for the fatal confrontation, but a special prosecutor announced perjury charges earlier this year in connection with the officers' testimony at the inquiry.
Const. Bill Bentley, Const. Kwesi Millington, Const. Gerry Rundell and Cpl. Benjamin Robinson were each charged with perjury, although they were charged under separate indictments and aren't expected to stand trial together.
Court records indicate jury selection for Bentley's case is set for Oct. 4, 2012, with a trial scheduled to begin four days later. Robinson's trial is scheduled for April 2013, while Millington's trial is set for October 2013.
A date for Rundell's trial hasn't been set, but that could happen at a court appearance next week.
Lawyers for the officers have said they will vigorously defend themselves against the perjury accusations.
The four officers were called to Vancouver airport after several 911 calls about a man throwing furniture in the international terminal. Dziekanski, who didn't speak English, had been at the airport for about 10 hours, lost and unable to find his mother.
Amateur video showed the officers surround Dziekanski, who by then had stopped throwing furniture. Within seconds of arriving, Millington stunned Dziekanski with a Taser several times.
The officers each testified that Dziekanski became a threat when he picked up a stapler, and they insisted they feared for their safety and the safety of other passengers at the airport.
Crown prosecutors initially cleared the officers of wrongdoing, concluding they acted reasonably in the circumstances, but Braidwood's report prompted the provincial government to appoint a special prosecutor to review the file again.