EDITORIAL: When the government interferes with the judiciary, we know a Police State is a dangerous possibility. "Intervening" in a case where it is the only appellant is interference.
It is in the interest of the public, as expressed in its overwhelming support for Richard Klassen's successful defence of his civil claim, that Judge Baynton's decision be affirmed by the court of appeal. The public has no interest in protecting malicious officials from unfairly and secretly setting up and prosecuting citizens. Judge Baynton was the first judge to view the videotapes (more than 12 hours) which clearly show Brian Dueck and Carol Bunko-Ruys manipulating children who were starved for approval and quickly accepted prompting from adults. Judge Baynton also heard Dr. Joel Yelland state that he had formed a medical, physical opinion based upon what the children said, despite finding no marks on their bodies to corroborate that opinion. Judge Baynton heard Matthew Miazga imply that he still thought the Klassen and Kvello families might be guilty. Judge Baynton heard all of this and took the necessary time to write his report to the public.
It is overwhelmingly in the public interest that the decision of this judge be upheld.
If Calvert, Quennell, Murray Brown and Doug Moen believe they are serving the public interest by allowing their employees to act secretly and with malice, the public will have to remove them from the offices they now disgrace.
Quennell claims Judge Baynton "changed the law." In fact he had the courage to uphold the law. Recently Judge Klebuc upheld the law in acquitting Farand Bear because the police used illegal means to extract a "confession." Earlier this fall, Judge Wright identified several police who were not credible at the Stonechild Inquiry. Also, earlier this fall Judge Allbright found Frederick Vopni innocent after the Crown almost destroyed his family in an attempt to hang a false conviction on him.
When you read Murray Brown's affidavit, you can see that it is not the public interest he seeks to protect but rather the right of prosecutors to employ unethical methods and the expectation that judges will always side with the crown. A prosecutor like Terry Hinz, who refused to go along with a witch hunting investigation and took a "golden handshake" after years of shunning in the Saskatoon office, has no interest in overturning this decision, either. There are more honest prosecutors in Brown's department: did he consult with them? Honest prosecutors will not be chilled by Judge Baynton's decision.
Judges who have the courage to stand up to the Crown and government lawyers must be allowed to do their jobs!
Not yet one year has passed since the courageous judgment in Q.B. 217 1994. This judgment provided a glimmer of hope to light the way out of the dark abyss our justice system has been descending into.
"I'm concerned that teachers, nurses, people in the position of Carol Bunko-Ruys (right), will be less willing to report sexual abuse of children, that police officers and prosecutors would be unfortunately perhaps, maybe inappropriately perhaps, less willing to do their jobs to the full extent that is appropriate." Quennell is quoted in the StarPhoenix.
I should bloody well hope so! Carol Bunko-Ruys was a greedy charlatan. She did not chance upon the Ross children, those little goldmines. She billed Social Services (now called Human Resources) for hundreds of hours for time she spent screwing up their little heads even worse than they were when they first met her. She also got herself accepted as an "expert witness" in the trial of Ross, Ross and White. She, along with Brian Dueck, helped drive foster mother Marilyn Thompson right round the twist. And she was able to do all of this money-grubbing psycho-babble because she had the Department of Social Services and Crown prosecutor Matt Miazga backing her. You bet your bippy we want the likes of her to be stopped. For four years, Carol Bunko Ruys billed the Department of Social Services in excess of $50,000 a year (yes, that is $200,000) for her "therapy sessions" with the Ross children alone. We know that these were not her only clients.
REGINA - The government has good reason to get further involved in the appeal of a landmark malicious prosecution case relating to false allegations of child sexual abuse, Justice Minister and Attorney General Frank Quennell said Tuesday.
The province has applied to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal for intervenor status in an appeal launched by Crown prosecutor Matthew Miazga and therapist Carol Bunko-Ruys. They are appealing a Court of Queen's Bench decision that found they and Saskatoon police officer Brian Dueck had maliciously prosecuted Richard Klassen and 11 other defendants.
Quennell said the government needs to make sure certain points of law are addressed.
"I believe that the original judgment effectively changed the law on what is malicious prosecution that would adversely affect the investigation and prosecution of cases in the future," said Quennell outside of a meeting of the provincial cabinet Tuesday.
"I'm concerned that teachers, nurses, people in the position of Carol Bunko-Ruys, will be less willing to report sexual abuse of children, that police officers and prosecutors would be unfortunately perhaps, maybe inappropriately perhaps, less willing to do their jobs to the full extent that is appropriate."
The province agreed to pay $1.5 million to the 12 plaintiffs as a settlement in June.
Robert Borden, the lawyer who represented most of the plaintiffs who were charged in 1991 with multiple counts of child abuse, said that in numerous meetings with the government, no one ever indicated that it planned to seek intervenor status in the case.
"How does this impact our clients? Our clients will have to address now issues that are raised by the government, issues that might not be related to those raised by Miazga and Bunko-Ruys. This will be more costly and we will have to of course prepare other briefs of law to address the government issues," he said from Saskatoon.
Borden said he would have to consult with all of his clients before he can say whether he will fight the government's application for status. The appeal is expected to be heard in April.
The government is already paying the legal fees for Miazga and Bunko-Ruys to pursue the appeal.
Saskatchewan Party Justice critic Don Morgan said it's not unreasonable for the government to get involved to try and clarify important issues around the role of police and prosecutors.
But the government needs to make sure its actions don't adversely affect the 12 plaintiffs.
In 1991, the plaintiffs were accused of abusing three foster children with bizarre allegations that included detailed accounts of satanic ritual abuse.
The children later recanted their stories, and one of the children was found to be abusing the other two.
Dueck's lawyer shows up at the last minute to say he has a "scheduling conflict". We don't know if Sabo had been informed of this already. We do know Sabo was very displeased with Richard Klassen for alerting the press this meeting was coming up. I have to question everybody's motives and note that Dueck still seems to be running the show.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Attorney General (that would be Frank Quennell) has asked for intervenor status at the government appeal of the Klassen/Kvello civil claim.
The government will have to go to court to present their reasons for taking this strong position. They are relying on arguments prepared by Murray Brown who succeeds Quinney as Director of Public Prosecutions. Brown has been the shadow director for a very long time and guided the appeal against Klassen's acquittal of defaming Brian Dueck from 1997 to 1998. After keeping Klassen's life on hold for several years, Brown abruptly dropped the appeal in April, 1998. He had been claiming judicial error (the only grounds for an appeal of a directed acquittal) but did not produce any instances of such.
Again, Brown is claiming judicial error in the judgment filed last December 29 by Judge George Baynton. Brown is claiming that if the judgment is allowed to stand, prosecutors will not be able to do their jobs.
I thought their job was the prosecution of people against whom they had solid evidence. Sure, it's a lot more fun to make a case against innocent people, particularly if you are allowed to use the methods Judge Baynton described as malicious. Tricking the court into sealing evidence and interviewing a disturbed child witness to elicit "evidence" the malicious policeman neglected to include in his information. Proceeding with trials on which you have already told a judge you didn't trust to be safe . . . these are some of the things Judge Baynton took issue with.
The government had many opportunities to intervene in this case. From the time Matt Miazga announced the staying of the charges "because the children were too traumatized to testify" every justice minister and every Attorney general has been informed of the problems with the case. Instead of addressing the issues raised in letters from Richard Klassen, they chose to go after Richard Klassen and thwart his every effort to make public the facts of the case. Their hollow apologies after being finally confronted with the lst of errors they had made, in Judge Baynton's decision, are even more empty as they now seek to overturn the decision.
What they are saying amounts to this: We are sorry that the public found out about the terrible damage we did to the Klassen and Kvello families. We now want to make it so that we can continue such prosecutions but you will never hear about it so we won't have to apologize again.
Their claim that they have stopped prosecuting innocent people based on evidence manufactured by manipulating abused children is belied by their 2001 actions against the Vopni family. As recently as this year, the Justice Minister now in place, Frank Quennell, went public with his support for the Crown in enforcing preposterous non-publication orders in the Vopni case. (Quennell and Crofford's letter to the StarPhoenix) The StarPhoenix, which had no choice but to publish Quennell's letter was fearful of legal action over the story to the point where it had to rewritten so that every identifiable feature was eliminated. In that case, two of the adopted children, who suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, were removed from the home, put in a foster home, placed on birth control pills and were rumoured to be spending time with lonely farmers on the week-ends. The Ross children, who are now adults, have not been doing well, either.
SASKATOON - The provincial government wants to get directly involved in the appeal of a high profile malicious prosecution case.
A Crown prosecutor and a child therapist are trying to overturn a court ruling that they maliciously prosecuted a dozen people who were wrongly accused of sex abuse.
Now the office of the attorney general is seeking intervener status in the court appeal.
Government lawyers want to challenge the malicious prosecution finding on at least a dozen points.
Robert Borden, the lawyer for most of the wrongly accused who sued in this case, said he is surprised at the government's attempt to step in.
"Certainly the government hasn't played any part in this," he said. "Only the people who were sued have been represented by lawyers...and now the government wants to take a position."
Earlier on, the government successfully fought to be removed as one of the defendants in the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, one of the wrongly accused, Richard Klassen, says he will oppose the government's application for intervener status.
Last December, Klassen and 11 of his family members won a malicious prosecution suit against Crown prosecutor Matt Miazga, therapist Carol Bunko-Ruys and Saskatoon police officer Brian Dueck. Dueck abandoned his appeal of the ruling.
The 12 had been charged in 1991 after foster children said they were sexually abused in bizarre rituals. The charges were later dropped and the children eventually recanted their stories.