No charges for Mounties in Dziekanski Taser death
Cathryn Atkinson, ctvbc.ca
Published Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:22PM PST
The four Mounties who were involved in the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport will not be charged, CTV British Columbia has learned.
B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch is set to announce at a press conference Friday that the actions of the officers, who Tasered the agitated Dziekanski in the early hours of Oct 14, 2007, did not constitute criminal behaviour.
Dziekanski died on the floor of the airport after he was jolted at least twice with an RCMP Taser.
The officers had been called to the international arrivals section of the airport when Dziekanski began throwing furniture and a computer after wandering for hours in the customs area of the building.
He was supposed to meet his mother, Zofia Cisowski, but had stayed on the wrong side of security barriers and was confused after a 14-hour flight and a 10-hour wait for his mother.
The incident gained world-wide attention after a witness posted a video of the incident on YouTube, leading to the launch of numerous inquiries into the incident.
The video was held for weeks by the RCMP before the witness, Paul Pritchard, went public with its existence, saying it had not been returned to him when promised.
The Crown counsel has been reviewing the case for the last six months to decide whether criminal charges were warranted. CTV has learned there is not enough evidence to lay charges.
The RCMP Integrated Homicide Team conducted the investigation.
Last month, Commissioner Thomas Braidwood of the Braidwood Inquiry said the RCMP officers connected to Dziekanski's death would be subpoenaed to testify at the inquiry if they did not volunteer to take part.
But the RCMP said their officers could not give evidence at the inquiry with the possibility of charges hanging over them.
Since the four officers have not been charged the public should now be able to finally hear their version of events. The inquiry is due to meet next on Jan. 19.
Walter Kosteky, who represents Cisowski, did not want to discuss the details of Friday's announcement, saying he had promised Crown not to. He said he had spoke to Cisowski and that "it was a difficult time for her."
Cisowski had remarried and immigrated to Canada from Poland several years before the incident, and was sponsoring her son's move to Canada.
She was sent home to Kamloops from the airport after failing to find Dziekanski, who was her only child and who spoke no English.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington