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Former Surrey mayor used false statements to ‘track’ political opponents, special counsel says

Doug McCallum could still be found guilty of public mischief if the judge overseeing his trial found that a political opponent stomped the foot of the former Surrey mayor, according to the special counsel investigating the case. there is a possibility.

Richard Fowler referred to being an elephant in court when closing out the royal family’s claims on Wednesday. In the absence of conclusive evidence anyway, what does it mean if Debi Johnston actually ran McCallum in the leg?

Fowler said evidence showed McCallum falsely accused Johnstone of a crime she didn’t commit.

“This is not a trial as to whether Mr McCallum’s leg was run over,” Fowler told Surrey County Court Judge Reginald Harris.

“In fact, when Mr. McCallum’s leg was run over, he deliberately exploited the apparent accident by characterizing it as not being an accident.

“There is another side”

McCallum is charged with public mischief under a section of the criminal code that makes it a crime to lie to police to meet someone accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

The charges stem from a confrontation that began on Sept. 4, 2021, when Johnston shouted “Resign McCallum” after spotting the mayor as he drove through the Save-On-Foods parking lot in a Mustang convertible. increase.

CCTV video screenshots capture the moment when former Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum claimed Debi Johnstone had run out of steam in September 2021. (CCTV Save on Food)

Johnstone is a member of Surrey’s RCMP Keep, a group opposed to McCallum’s plan to replace Surrey’s RCMP detachment with local police.

The defense had pointed to the toxic politics surrounding the issue, especially alleging that Johnston had leveled the profanity against McCallum and his councilors.

Fowler acknowledged the background to the incident.

“It is clear that swearing at public officials is not permissible under any circumstances,” he said.

“But there’s another side… No matter how hostile, you can’t justify making false statements to the police.”

“It’s not just a reckless exaggeration.”

The crux of the Crown case is a series of statements made by McCallum on the 911 call and statements to police recorded on video. Both are at odds with the events caught on camera in his CCTV footage of the incident.

Fowler alleged that the 78-year-old man used the word “fixed” at least 11 times in his statement to suggest that Johnston locked him in his car.

In fact, the video shows him standing next to a small traffic island, nowhere near a car.

McCallum also told police he thought Johnston would “rip the rubber off” when he “ripped” it from him.

Defense attorney Eric Gottardi (left) walks outside the Surrey Courthouse next to Special Counsel Richard Fowler. The two men stand opposite each other in former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum’s public prank trial. (Justin Boleyn/CBC)

McCallum’s attorney argued that confusion and misunderstanding could be expected as a result of the sudden shock of being hit by a car, and that the embellishment did not misrepresent the substance of the complaint.

However, Fowler said McCallum waited two hours to call 911, then waited another two hours before testifying in person.

He said the former mayor had time to think about his words.

“They weren’t just reckless hyperbole. They weren’t statements made in the heat of the moment without time to think about what happened.”

He also said that McCallum is “not a somewhat unsophisticated individual.”

“Of course he was. He ran the city of Surrey. And he was dealing with a very important issue. That’s also part of the context when analyzing the statement.”

“I really want to chase her with this”

The lawsuit filings include years of RCMP complaints between McCallum and members of Keep the RCMP in Surrey, with the claims leveled against each other.

On the stand, Johnstone was confronted with evidence that he had called McCallum a “scaly-faced mother” and a member of the Surrey Police Department a “whore” at another protest.

Devi Johnstone, seen at a protest, was accused by former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum of running afoul of her. . (submitted by Debi Johnstone)

Defense attorneys argued that these interactions showed the former mayor had reason to allege criminal harassment of the 66-year-old.

In contrast, Fowler said history has shed new light on McCallum’s words to the police.

“I don’t know exactly what his emotional state was at the time. Whether he was angry, hurt, or simply fed up with Ms. Johnston and others who felt the way she did. I don’t know if it was,” said Fowler.

“The means he chose to pursue Mr. Johnston was to make false statements to the police.”

“McCallum is not trying to waste police resources.”

Justice Harris asked many questions about the law and the circumstances of the case.

At one point, he wondered if the fact that McCallum didn’t try to pretend he was limping worked in his favor.

Earlier in the day, defense attorney Eric Gottardi outlined the legal considerations and precedent Harris must consider when considering the evidence in the case.

He said there weren’t many cases involving the subsection of the criminal code in which McCallum was indicted.

Lawyer Richard Peck is depicted on his way to a court in Surrey. The veteran defender led a team representing Doug McCallum in a public prank trial. (Justin Boleyn/CBC)

Among the incidents he cited included false allegations of assault by inmates against prison officers and false claims that a car had been stolen.

The case involving the prisoner was dropped after the judge concluded that there was evidence that an assault had taken place, but the prisoner was unaware that a defense against assault existed.

In the case involving a stolen van, the man’s story was so “outrageous” that police did not investigate, but a judge said he could be convicted of plotting a public prank. I found out that I have a sexuality.

Gotthardi said the purpose of the public mischief law is to protect people from false accusations and to ensure that police time is not wasted chasing wild geese.

“McCallum is not wasting police resources or trying to silence anyone,” Gotthardi said.

“He only reported very alarming behavior from Mr Johnston in a series of alarming behaviors from Mr Johnston.”

Harris said he plans to issue a verdict the week of Nov. 21.

Former Surrey mayor used false statements to ‘track’ political opponents, special counsel says

Source link Former Surrey mayor used false statements to ‘track’ political opponents, special counsel says

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