Saturday, December 31, 2005

As gun violence increases, McGuintyites pursue 80s fraud case

Some smart folks think that Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant is a brilliant guy and a clever politician, and even a good bet to occupy the Premier’s office someday. First elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1999, Bryant distinguished himself in opposition, particularly on the crime and Ontario Hydro files. His riding of St. Paul’s was the only riding Paul Martin deigned to visit during the 2003 provincial election.

Bryant's mannerisms have always grated on me, especially his fake Harvard accent, but I have enough respect for his political smarts to be bewildered by his ministry’s plan to appeal a judge’s decision to toss out the only charge laid in the Airbus scandal, after a seven-week examination of the evidence. As the National Post reported Friday (subscription required):

Eurocopter and two executives from its German parent company were charged with defrauding the government in 2002. The charge followed a nine-year RCMP investigation into alleged bribes and kickbacks involving Conservative government officials and aircraft makers in the 1980s.

The allegations became known as the Airbus affair and members of Mulroney’s government were swept up in the accusations.

The ruling could have closed the door on the 12-year-old case, but officials in Ontario’s Attorney-General’s ministry want to have Judge BĂ©langer’s ruling overturned.

The dismissal came after a preliminary hearing that took 50 days of court time spread over two years. At the end of the preliminary hearing, the judge found no evidence to support the allegation of fraud.

I guess I can see why Bryant’s loyalty to the Liberal cause would make him loath to abandon the last thread of the Airbus case. But I don’t see why he would want to risk having to defend such an obvious waste of Crown and court resources, especially after Toronto has just recorded its 52nd gun death this year, and people in custody sometimes get double or triple credit for time served awaiting trial.

1 comment:

Josef said...

I concur: Big mistake.

I just read today a US News & World Report I checked out from my local public library dated December 5, 2005 that explained how terrorism used traditional organized crime to finance itself. HERE is the online version of that story for your perusal.

For those that need things spelled out: I'd be using those resources on cracking the organized crime that's turning Toronto into Torontome... that's again turning tourists away from the city of the CN Tower and Queen (Pupatello)'s Park...