Abscond vs Illness
In Saskatoon Provincial Court, Prosecutor Robin Ritter lied to Judge Barry Singer, claiming that no medical evidence existed for scheduling my court sessions to accommodate my physical disability. The Court made several serious decisions on that basis:
A criminal prosecution differs from a civil suit. In Nelles v Ontario 1989 SCC the Supreme Court ruled: The role of the Prosecutor excludes any notion of winning or losing. In a criminal case, Crown counsel do not ‘represent’ the complainant and must be above favoritism. Crown counsel represent the public interest, the public at large. As such, Prosecutors have a duty to see that all available legal proof and facts are presented in a courtroom.
|To:||Judge Barry Singer, Provincial Court|
|Re:||Medical Evidence in Support of Adjournments|
On instruction from my attorney Robert Borden, I write this brief in support of scheduling our Court dates to accommodate my physical disability.
In complex litigation, a courtroom lawyer by necessity teams up with a technician. Legal-Aid tariffs, however, do not cover two lawyers. And even the one assigned lawyer faces a low ceiling on billed hours. Since I am physics-educated, I thus fulfill the job of technical assistant to my attorney: both in the writing of this brief, and throughout the case.
Robert Borden and I reviewed our cumulative experience with the case. We tender this report to the Court: The one-week recuperation between Court events, which was the original advice of my doctor, would suffice if there was no work to do. But when there are witnesses who testify that I develop cross-examination for; when I read and analyze our Muirhead Disclosure of 1000-plus pages; when I study forensic texts and precedents in the U of S Law Library; when I visit my attorney's office for cogent work sessions – then the one-week recuperation between Preliminary Inquiry sessions is not nearly sufficient. A much more significant period of time is required.
My intent and my goal is to be present in Court. Mr. Borden assigns my role as active participant, rather than passive listener. It is I who knows where the documents are; it is I who keeps track of the myriad technical points. Yet my Court attendance is limited by intolerance to activity and a lengthy recuperation time. My diseases combine to cause severe chronic pain, muscle weakness, and cognitive exhaustion. My diagnoses were well-established before the legal case began; in fact they pre-date the case by several years.
|1985||Osteitis (bone inflammation)|
|1994||Dizziness (presyncope) and atypical seizures|
|1998||Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (now deemed the umbrella over all my auto-immune conditions)|
|1999||Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (complication of a surgical biopsy to my right foot)|
|2002||Legal case began|
We tender to the Court our full set of medical exhibits. The chronology is:
Attached to this brief are a number of documents:
Canadian Criminal Code
Procedure on Preliminary Inquiry
CCC s 544. (1) – Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, where an accused, whether or not he is charged jointly with another, absconds during the course of a preliminary inquiry into an offence with which he is charged, (a) he shall be deemed to have waived his right to be present at the inquiry, and (b) the justice:
but where the inquiry is adjourned pursuant to subparagraph (b)(ii), the justice may continue it at any time pursuant to subparagraph (b)(i) if he is satisfied that it would no longer be in the interests of justice to await the appearance of the accused.
CCC s 544. (2) – Where the justice continues a preliminary inquiry pursuant to subsection (1), he may draw an inference adverse to the accused from the fact that he has absconded.
CCC s 544. (3) – Where an accused reappears at a preliminary inquiry that is continuing pursuant to subsection (1), he is not entitled to have any part of the proceedings that was conducted in his absence re-opened unless the justice is satisfied that because of exceptional circumstances it is in the interests of justice to re-open the inquiry.
CCC s 544. (4) – Where an accused has absconded during the course of a preliminary inquiry and the justice continues the inquiry, counsel for the accused is not thereby deprived of any authority he may have to continue to act for the accused in the proceedings.
Tuum Est - It Is Up To You
Thomas Couture 1860
One man’s word is no man’s word;
We should quietly hear both sides.
Judge Barry Singer asked Sil to verify her health status. Sil complied and MDs cooperated; both moved heaven and earth to meet short court deadlines. Sil's attorney Borden hand-delivered the evidence to prosecutor Robin Ritter. Then Ritter lied and pretended no reports existed. Follow the chronology:
Click images for large readable view
When the case opened in 2003, Dr. Jonat assessed my disability expressly for the court. His original report was filed with the presiding Judge. A copy was immediately sent to Prosecutor Robin Ritter.
In spring 2004, Dr. Balakrishna was subpoenaed to testify on my behalf in court. He verified my diagnoses and fatigue.
He also relayed how MDs are trained to manage mistakes. Under oath on the witness stand, Dr. Balakrishna said: “I made an error there saying 9th of May, it should have been the 9th of March, but I didn't correct it. That's the way — because once you write it you don't change anything.”
On June 26/04 I advised my GP Dr. Straza that the court wanted a new, formal report of my fatigue level and recovery time. Deadline was Aug 5 at 9:30 AM (the next scheduled court date).
With weeks to work, Dr. Straza wrote a weighty report, but mailed it late on Aug 4 (click envelope to enlarge postmark).
From our view the report was in limbo. No status check was possible (Idylwyld Clinic at that time did not accept incoming phone calls). Two days before court, no report in hand … (continued below)
Dr. Straza's report was late. The gravity of the situation dictated that I take a leadership role. Thus on Aug 3, I sought another report in person from the Minor Emergency Clinic (who had seen me over the years, and knew my diagnoses). A report from Dr. Mettle was finished in a day.
In Provincial Court on Aug 5/04 I handed this to my attorney and he so advised Judge Singer and Prosecutor Robin Ritter.
On Aug 10/04, my attorney Robert Borden wrote this letter to Crown Prosecutor Robin Ritter, hand-delivering it along with the medical reports from Dr. Straza, Dr. Mettle, and Dr. Jonat.
Three months later, Robin Ritter lied in open court before the Judge and pretended this material did not exist.
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