Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wilfred Hathway: Was the confession voluntary?

The Wilfred Hathway preliminary hearing in Saskatoon is looking like another Saskatchewan injustice in the making. A temporary publication ban has been issued against identifying RCMP officers involved in the undercover operation and anything related to the police is also prohibited, including their method of operation.

Serious questions have been raised about the potential for wrongful convictions. There are at least 20 cases where a variation on the Mr. Big sting has been used in Canada. Sherwood Park, Alberta, Jason Dix was awarded $765,000 in a malicious prosecution lawsuit when the Mr. Big sting failed.

Tax payers in Saskatchewan have been paying without complaint for years as a result of the satanic child abuse malicious prosecution farce in Saskatoon. It started with a publication ban at the Ross, Ross and White preliminary hearing. The publication bans were continued at trial where the media and the public were also banned from the court room. Instead of admitting that mistakes had been made, 17 months after the hearing of the appeal of the Ross, Ross and White trial the Saskatchewan appellant court up held the convictions. The 15 year nightmare for innocent people began and two 8 year old girls were left to be raped because “The whole judicial system is at issue -- it's worth more than one person.”

The application to protect the identities of RCMP undercover officers was added to the Criminal Code following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. Its purpose is to protect witnesses and justice system personnel from identification in sensitive operations. I searched the web for RCMP sting, 20,200 hits. I could not find any terrorists. The method used by the RCMP in their stings is well documented on the internet and in books written by former undercover RCMP officers. The number of cases based on false confessions and detailing the methods used by the RCMP to obtain questionable confessions and convictions is alarming. What is more alarming is that the publication ban in the Hathway case extends to anything related to the police, including their method of operation. This is claimed to be needed to protect RCMP officers in future RCMP Mr Big stings. What is being protected, their method of operation, that is well known, or is it the degree to which a confession is voluntary?

Our RCMP officers are being placed at risk. It is not by publication of their method of operations that places them at risk, it is by officers playing at being gangsters

No comments: