SCC agrees to hear RCMP perjury appeals in Robert Dziekanski case
Robert Dziekanski holds a small table at the Vancouver Airport before he was tasered by police in this image from video. Const. Bill Bentley stands trial beginning Monday on charges of perjury for his testimony at a public inquiry into Robert Dziekanski's death at Vancouver's airport. (Paul Pritchard / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:08AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:52AM PDT
OTTAWA -- A lawyer for one of two men convicted of perjury in the death of Robert Dziekanski says a Supreme Court of Canada decision to hear his client's appeal is the RCMP officer's first break in the decade-old case.
Glen Orris is representing Const. Kwesi Millington, who was found guilty, along with former corporal Benjamin (Monty) Robinson in the October 2007 death of Dziekanski, who was jolted multiple times with a Taser at Vancouver's airport.
Canada's highest court announced Thursday in Ottawa that it would hear appeals from the men, though it doesn't give reasons for such decisions.
"They obviously wanted to hear the argument that we are advancing, that the verdict basically was unfair and not based on the evidence," Orris said from Vancouver.
"This is the first break (Millington) has had in this case since he was charged," Orris said.
"I think he's very relieved."
Orris said the high court has set a tentative date of Oct. 30 for the appeal.
Millington was sentenced to 30 months in prison for testimony he gave at an inquiry examining Dziekanski's death after he'd been wandering for hours in the international arrivals hall of the airport.
The newly arrived visitor to Canada spoke no English and became confused about how to exit the airport when police were called.
Dziekanski was taken down by a Taser moments after Millington, Robinson and two other officers arrived in response to reports of a distraught man.
Millington, who fired the Taser, and Robinson, who was the senior officer at the scene, were found guilty of colluding to make up testimony presented at the inquiry.
Robinson was sentenced to two years less a day, one year of probation and 240 hours of community service.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld the perjury convictions of both men.