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Abscond vs Illness

Prosecutor Robin Ritter Lied to Judge Singer

Medical Evidence Brief (p 3)

Timeline:  Absconding vs. Illness

In Saskatoon Provincial Court, the Crown Prosecutor Robin Ritter lied to Judge Barry Singer, claiming that no medical evidence existed for scheduling my court sessions to accommodate my physical disability. In that false light, the Court made several serious decisions:

  • Judge Singer threatened me with a bench warrant.
  • I was ill in a nursing home, yet the Court declared that I had ‘absconded.’
  • On that basis, CCC section 544 was used to exclude me from my own hearing.
  • Impact: when I was absent from court due to illness, my lawyer missed my input to prepare cross-examination questions.
  • The next court dates were still scheduled for a solid block of four full days, a schedule far too gruelling for me. In this way Ritter contrived a Trial in Absentia.

Quotes from Preliminary Inquiry Transcript

TRANSCRIPT April 28, 2004 (pages 4-6)


Ms. Sil thought the testimony (of her doctor) would show that she would need a week adjournment – she could only sit for a day and she would need a week adjournment between dates.


Per scheduling witnesses: That's always the problem, whether it's consecutive days or a week off between the dates.


If that's how you'd like to do it, Your Honor, certainly.


I'm trying to balance here. What would be lost by doing it that way? I mean, we accommodate people with disabilities all the time. You know, if someone can't speak or hear, we give them translators.

If the doctor is prepared to tell me, I'm prepared to accommodate it.

TRANSCRIPT November 2, 2004 (page 141)


Ms. Sil indicated (at the April session) that if she had any further and better reports (beyond the note from Dr. Balakrishna), that she would file them, and she hasn't filed anything since, that I know of. What's your position on this?


I'd just like to get the Prelim over and move on to the next step.

Note: Prosecutor Robin Ritter had in fact received my two new detailed medical assessments in August 2004, from Dr. Straza and Dr. Mettle. But Mr. Ritter did not mention, or even allude to, those new reports. He simply sidestepped the Judge's question and changed the subject. His only reply was the comment above.

TRANSCRIPT Later on November 2, 2004 (page 149)


… if I accept that she intended to come today, and I see no reason why not. Ms. Sil has so obviously done the homework ahead of time. And we do know that she has health issues.


The only evidence we have with respect to her health issues is the doctor (Dr. Balakrishna) that testified (in April). And I want to be careful not to step into the forum of trying to give evidence here, but that's the only evidence you have with respect to her health issues.

This time, Mr. Ritter denied wholesale my medical evidence, despite the two Aug/04 reports from Dr. Straza and Dr. Mettle; despite my Oct/03 assessment from Dr. Jonat which was specific to the Preliminary Inquiry; and despite the wealth of consult reports and diagnostic reports acquired by police during the search of my home in 2002.

Prosecutor Robin Ritter cultivated the impression of no new medical evidence, and the Court made decisions on that basis. Subsequently I was threatened with a bench warrant; I was told I had absconded; CCC section 544 was used to exclude me from my own hearing on Nov 4/04; when I was absent, my lawyer missed my input for cross-examination; and the next hearing dates were still booked in a solid block. Writing this rebuttal, and researching precedents to prove CCC section 544 could not be used, created months of extra work for me. This labor is back-breaking for someone seriously ill.

TRANSCRIPT November 4, 2004 (pages 272-276)


Which leads us to Section 544 of the Code which allows for us to continue in her absence if she's absconded.

The witnesses can be examined in chief, then cross-examined, and upon review of the transcript with Ms. Sil, her lawyer could at some later point make an application under Section 544(3), which is anything that was conducted in her absence could be re-opened in special circumstances.

But let's proceed as if we're proceeding under Section 544. You can go ahead with your case. If she wishes to come and go, that's her business, I think. Because of her health, she has the best idea of how healthy she is.


I can't consent, Your Honor, when she said she wants to be here.


Well, that's right. But I'm proceeding with the preliminary inquiry as if she isn't here. The Crown is allowed to go ahead.

The Judge quoted clause (4) of 544.  So it's guaranteed that you're ethically okay in the proceeding. So let's just proceed with the preliminary inquiry.


Thank you, Your Honor.

Canadian Courts Recognize Chronic Fatigue

Regarding my cognitive exhaustion: My EEG test is abnormal, with slow Theta waves in the left frontal temporal lobe. This is the organic evidence of fatigue, as recognized by Canadian courts. The Alberta precedent Baillie v. Crown Life 1998 ABQB observes: The EEG abnormality is found in the frontal portion of the left hemisphere of the brain. In the medical literature, this is where neurology has found the likely origins of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is a debilitating illness which involves pathological dysregulation of at least three fundamental physiological systems: the central nervous system, the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, and the immune system.

Georgena S. Sil
Saskatoon, Canada
Physicist & Technical Writer
Alumnus: University of British Columbia
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Absconding From Justice
Requires Four Elements

The Supreme Court of Canada set boundaries on when the term ‘absconding’ may be used in law to label a client's conduct. The client must meet all four elements below:

  • Clear intention to frustrate the course of justice
  • No lawful excuse for missing a court appearance date
  • Unknown whereabouts
  • Access to wealth and high connections

The principle of stare decisis means courts must determine points in litigation according to precedent. In Canadian law the precedent which defines ‘absconding from justice’ is:

R. v. Garofoli 1990 SCC


Abscond Elements

Court Attendance Cannot be Waived

Purpose of Preliminary Inquiry
A Discovery Process

Evidence of Persons with Disability

Chronic Fatigue: Legal Criteria

Canadian Criminal Code
Version in effect 2002-2004

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