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James Driskell, 2006

Chief Ewatski at the Driskell Inquiry

Leave the dress uniform in the closet for inquiry

Reports on this page are in descending order

Police Chief Jack Ewatski

When Winnipeg Police Chief Jack Ewatski strode into the James Driskell inquiry room yesterday wearing a dark-blue business suit, you knew he might be in for a difficult day.

Experienced police watchers claim Ewatski is firm in his belief that his dress uniform should not be worn to any event where anyone might try to bring the Winnipeg Police Service into disrepute. It would be wrong, Ewatski is thought to believe, to give those critics an opportunity to disgrace the uniform.

Whether that was Ewatski's motivation yesterday for dressing in civilian clothes, we may never know. But if it was, he made a good call.

For nearly six hours yesterday, Ewatski was grilled about his role in a review of the Perry Dean Harder murder case, the crime for which Driskell was convicted in 1991.

And for those six hours, Ewatski struggled to explain why he kept secret new evidence that could have helped Driskell win his freedom.

The chief's involvement in the case began two years after Driskell's conviction when a series of media stories raised concerns Driskell had been wrongly convicted.Then-inspectors Ewatski and Bob Hall were asked to determine whether police had acted properly in all aspects of their investigation, and to determine if Driskell was a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Ewatski and Hall spent six months examining documents and interviewing witnesses. When the review was completed in late 2003, police issued a one-line statement indicating they had "found nothing which would lead us to believe James Patrick Driskell was not involved in the death of Perry Dean Harder."

When asked about the report in the intervening years, Ewatski generally stuck to that narrow conclusion. But at the end of his grueling examination yesterday by inquiry counsel Michael Code, and then later by Driskell lawyer James Lockyer, two facts were laid out for all to see.

First, the Ewatski-Hall review had discovered that key Crown witnesses lied on the stand, that they threatened to recant their testimony, and that a witness received tens of thousands of dollars in compensation and a secret deal for immunity from a pending arson charge.

And second, that despite the fact Driskell and his lawyers had never learned any of these facts -- facts which most agree would have helped him at the least win a new trial -- Ewatski, Hall and the Winnipeg Police Service did nothing to bring those discoveries to light.

Ray Zanidean

Ray Zanidean - RCMP informant paid to perjure testimony against Jim Driskell. Allowed to get away with serious arson.

Throughout the 1990s, numerous parties tried in vain to get a full copy of the homicide review. In 2000, after months of negotiation, Ewatski and Hall agreed to an interview by the Free Press on the findings in their report. Much of that interview focused on the role of a single witness, Ray Zanidean, who testified that he was present with Driskell when he planned the murder of Perry Harder.

In his 2000 interview, Ewatski said "there was absolutely no arrangements made to do anything with (Zanidean)" because no formal witness protection contract was ever finalized.

When asked if a deal was worked out in a less formal way to give Zanidean what he wanted without a witness protection contract, Ewatski shook his head. "How could we make a commitment to somebody without having that formal process in place? The investigators do not have the authority to say to a person, 'If you do this, if you testify, we will do something for you.' There's no authority in place to do that." In contrast, the inquiry heard yesterday that Ewatski and Hall discovered Winnipeg police likely did exactly that -- offered Zanidean immunity for a Swift Current crime without approval of Saskatchewan Justice or the RCMP. Further, Ewatski confirmed that he and Hall had determined Zanidean likely committed several acts of perjury while testifying at Driskell's trial.

In a seminal moment during this inquiry, Driskell lawyer James Lockyer asked Ewatski if he didn't feel some obligation to get the information in his homicide review report to Driskell, who was fighting for his life in a federal prison. Lockyer noted that many of Driskell's supporters had approached him to see the contents of the report.

Ewatski said it was the responsibility of prosecutors, not police, to disclose evidence to the defence. Lockyer then asked Ewatski if he cared whether Driskell ever saw the new evidence.

"Did I care?" Ewatski asked, almost stunned by the question. "I don't think it was part of my responsibility to ensure that it was passed on or not."

After an answer like that it's probably a good idea that, while he remains on the inquiry's witness stand, Ewatski keeps the dress uniform in the closet.


Winnipeg police chief grilled over probe into wrongful murder conviction

WINNIPEG (CP) - Winnipeg police chief Jack Ewatski faced questions Thursday about whether he held back important information about the 1991 wrongful murder conviction of James Driskell that could have spared the man years in prison.

Ewatski, who reviewed the case as a young inspector in 1993, told the inquiry into Driskell's case he passed on all his information to Manitoba prosecutors.

But the inquiry's lead lawyer, Michael Code, told Ewatski in a testy exchange there is no documentation to show he passed on information that cast doubt on a key Crown witness, Ray Zanidean.

The information included revelations that Zanidean apparently lied on the witness stand when he denied receiving a large amount of money for his testimony. The inquiry has heard Zanidean received $20,000 in cash and had other costs covered, including relocation and transportation.

"Is there any note discussing the perjury in relation to financial benefits?," Code asked.

"Obviously my notes are lacking in detail. but the sense is, and my recollection is, there was significant discussion about that issue," answered Ewatski, who is also head of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

"I can't find any notation of any discussion," Code replied.

Driskell's original lawyer, Greg Brodsky, has already told the inquiry he was never made aware of the information, and could have used it to discredit Zanidean.

Questions about Driskell's guilt in the slaying of his friend, Perry Harder, arose soon after his conviction. In 1993, Ewatski and three other inspectors were appointed to review the police handling of the case.

Their report, which was kept secret until a court ordered its release 10 years later, revealed several facts about Zanidean, including:

-Zanidean received money to cover living, relocation and other costs for his testimony, not the small room and board stipends he admitted to at trial.

-Zanidean, who testified that Driskell had talked about killing Harder, threatened to recant his testimony shortly after Driskell was convicted.

-There were strong indications that Zanidean was offered some sort of immunity from an arson charge in Saskatchewan in exchange for his testimony.

Ewatski insisted prosecutors knew all of these facts, either through written or verbal communications from him or from other sources.

But that assertion was challenged by Manitoba's Justice Department three years ago, which said the Crown files were "inconsistent" with what Ewatski released in his report.

Driskell's new lawyer, James Lockyer, told Ewatski he should have released his 1993 information not just to prosecutors, but to defence lawyers who were trying to get Driskell's conviction overturned.

"Since one of your concerns was whether or not Mr. Driskell was a victim of a miscarriage of justice, did you think it was your duty that somehow this information got to Mr. Driskell?," Lockyer asked.

"It is the role of the Crown to provide disclosure to the defence. It is not our role," Ewatski replied.

Driskell's conviction was quashed by the federal government last year, due to the questionable credibility of Zanidean and another Crown witness, as well as faulty physical evidence.

Three hairs found inside Driskell's van, and which an RCMP expert testified belonged to the victim, were shown by DNA tests in 2002 to actually belong to three other people.

Lockyer said Driskell, who was locked up for just over 12 years, could have been released much earlier had Ewatski released his findings.

"You had 10 years to think about it," Lockyer said. "Why did we have to wait 10 years plus before we get the benefit of hindsight?"

Ewatski's report was supposed to be a confidential document for the former police chief.

His report concluded that "we have found nothing which would lead us to believe James Driskell was not involved in the death of Perry Dean Harder".


Chief put on hot seat
Ewatski defends decision to sit on '93 report

Police kept a 1993 review of the investigation into Perry Harder's homicide under wraps because they believed prosecutors already had the details, an inquiry has revealed.

Winnipeg police Chief Jack Ewatski was on the hot seat at the ongoing Driskell Inquiry yesterday, explaining why the review stayed secret for more than a decade until a judge ordered its release.

While it didn't clear Driskell of the homicide, the Harder review uncovered some questionable dealings surrounding his June 1991 trial -- information that should've been handed over to Crown attorneys, said James Lockyer, the lawyer currently representing Driskell.

"It was our opinion that they were fully aware of everything," said Ewatski.

Did you "care" that Driskell was in jail until the report's release in 2003, Lockyer later asked Ewatski.

"I don't think it was part of my responsibility," Ewatski said, adding Crown attorneys are responsible for giving information to defence lawyers.

Looking back, Ewatski's co-author -- retired Insp. Robert Hall -- reportedly believes there was information in the report Manitoba Justice might not have known.

IMMUNITY

"Due to the benefit of hindsight ... Hall only now recognizes that the report contained potentially new material which the Crown was not aware of ... With his present knowledge, Hall is of the view that the new material should have been disclosed to the Crown," states notes from Hall's May 24, 2006, interview with the inquiry's lawyer.

Hall has not been called to testify, commission lawyer Michael Code confirmed outside the inquiry yesterday.

Ewatski's testimony yesterday blurred the already-fuzzy issue of whether a star Crown witness received immunity for torching a Saskatchewan home.

Earlier at the inquiry, retired homicide Sgt. Al Paul testified former prosecutions director, the late Bruce Miller, told him Ray Zanidean wouldn't be charged for the fire, but not to tell him until after he testified against Driskell.

During the 1993 Harder homicide review, Ewatski testified yesterday that Miller said there was no deal. Taking it a step further, then Insp. Ewatski's 1993 logbook claims Miller even personally told Zanidean the justice department wouldn't help him out.

"It certainly added to the confusion of whether or not there was a deal," Ewatski said.

Ewatski will take the stand again today.

The inquiry into the conduct of cops and Crowns involved with Driskell's June 1991 conviction was called after former federal justice minister Irwin Cotler declared a miscarriage of justice had likely occurred.

While his charges have been stayed, Driskell has not been exonerated.

The file on Perry Harder's murder remains open.


Driskell so far: finger-pointing festival

IF you like finger pointing, then you would have loved the first three weeks of the inquiry into certain aspects of the James Driskell wrongful conviction.

For 12 days over those three weeks, a meeting room at the Winnipeg Convention Centre has been a veritable festival of accusations and counter-accusations.

It is too early in the life of the inquiry to predict what commissioner Patrick LeSage will make of the charges levelled by and against the nine witnesses who have appeared. But at this early stage of the inquiry, there seems little doubt that he will have much to say about the people who investigated and prosecuted Driskell for first-degree murder in 1991.

For those who have not been able to follow the inquiry, testimony to date has focused on promises made, and considerations provided to, a key Crown witness, Ray Zanidean. A career criminal, Zanidean was one of the first and most damning witnesses used to convict Driskell of first-degree murder in 1991. Zanidean testified that he was with Driskell on numerous occasions when Driskell planned the murder of his friend, Perry Dean Harder.

However, unbeknownst to Driskell or his lawyers, Zanidean received tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for his testimony. He also received immunity for an outstanding arson charge likely to be laid against him for burning down his sister's house in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

The financial considerations and immunity deal are key because while in the witness box during Driskell's trial, Zanidean denied receiving anything more than "room and board" in exchange for his testimony.

To this point, there are two basic Zanidean facts which most of witnesses have been able to agree upon: First, Zanidean was in fact told he would not be charged with the Swift Current arson; and second, it was somebody else who authorized the immunity deal. Winnipeg police claim it was prosecutors and the Mounties who authored the immunity deal; the Mounties claim Winnipeg police offered Zanidean immunity without authorization; and Manitoba Justice claims it did not know immunity was being discussed.

Three key RCMP officers testified about the Swift Current arson investigation and Zanidean's immunity. The Mounties alleged that Winnipeg police were "dishonest and deceitful" in their dealings, and told Zanidean he had immunity before Saskatchewan Justice had approved the deal.

The Mountie allegations were challenged by three members of the Winnipeg Police Service. Retired Insp. Bill VanderGraaf and homicide detectives Tom Anderson and Al Paul, the three officers who had the most contact with Zanidean, admitted they raised the issue of immunity, but claimed the Mounties were only too happy to let Zanidean walk to help their Winnipeg colleagues solve a grisly murder.

However, the Winnipeg police testimony has not held up well. The Mounties arrived with mountains of memos, notes and reports backing up almost everything they said. The Winnipeg police had no notes, and virtually no supporting documentation.

Under questioning from commission counsel Michael Code, and James Lockyer, the lawyer representing Driskell at the inquiry, the Winnipeg police wilted and confirmed they had worked with prosecutors to keep details of Zanidean's immunity and financial consideration from Driskell's lawyers.

In a revelation that stunned the inquiry, Al Paul said he was told by former director of prosecutions Bruce Miller, now deceased, to keep details of the immunity deal from Zanidean so that when he testified, he would tell the jury he was not getting a walk on the Swift Current arson charges. Paul told an incredulous Code that he "didn't think of it as a big deal at the time."

Douglas Abra, the lawyer representing Miller's estate, may have expressed it the best when he asked Paul: "You think it's OK to let a witness testify to something that not truthful?"

"I can't testify to what Mr. Miller was thinking," Paul retorted. The final act in this evolving drama came from David Kovnats, Zanidean's lawyer. Kovnats told the inquiry his client had demanded immunity from the very beginning of his involvement as a witness in the Driskell murder. Kovnats said he received a verbal commitment of immunity from Miller in December 1990, nearly six months before Zanidean testified.


RCMP labs biased, Driskell's lawyer tells inquiry

James Driskell's former lawyer has testified that crime labs are biased in favour of police - a trait he says landed Driskell in jail for 12 years on a wrongful murder conviction.

Greg Brodsky, who represented James Driskell at his 1991 murder trial, alleged that crime labs were biased while speaking in Winnipeg on Wednesday at the inquiry into the case.

"It's not like a collection of facts. Sometimes I think they're given the background, they're told what to look for, and they have to see if they can see it," Brodsky told the inquiry.

"Sometimes they see it."

Hair evidence, examined by an RCMP lab, helped put Driskell in prison for the 1990 murder of Perry Harder, which Driskell always maintained he did not commit.

The first-degree murder conviction was quashed by the federal justice minister in 2005.

Brodsky said labs need to be more independent if they want to discover the truth.

"I think they should be independent, I think, like the chief medical officers. I think it should be run and operated by an independent, non-profit agency," he testified.

Crown hid information: Brodsky

When the justice minister overturned Driskell's conviction, he cited several reasons for the decision, including new DNA evidence that showed hairs found in Driskell's van did not belong to the victim - as the Crown argued at the trial ;- as well as problems with key witnesses and a lack of disclosure of information that could have helped Driskell's defence.

On Tuesday, Brodsky told the inquiry he had a hunch that information that would have helped Driskell's case was being kept away from him.

"[We] would have made a motion for fresh evidence if we had to. But we certainly wouldn't have let it go," Brodsky testified. "And in my opinion, then and now, I would have secured the acquittal of Mr. Driskell."

Brodsky said he made repeated requests to Crown prosecutors for the information, and was repeatedly told he had everything he needed.

Brodsky also told the inquiry that the Crown's star witness, Ray Zanidean, perjured himself on the witness stand and nobody did anything about it.

One recurring theme in the inquiry, which began July 17, has been miscommunication between the RCMP and the Winnipeg Police in relation to the treatment of Zanidean, who was an important and controversial witness at Driskell's trial.

The inquiry had earlier heard that Zanidean demanded and received tens of thousands of dollars and other perks in exchange for his testimony, while threatening to change his story or recant altogether.

Driskell's lawyers, including Brodsky, and the jury at his trial were not made aware of the deals, the inquiry was told.

After Driskell's conviction was quashed, the Manitoba government stayed the charges against him, a move that keeps him out of prison but does not officially exonerate him.

The inquiry is probing the role of police, the actions of the Crown and questions of disclosure in the case.

The commissioner has also been asked to determine when someone has met the threshold to be declared factually innocent or wrongly convicted.

The inquiry is expected to run another two weeks.


Driskell defence hindered: lawyer
Info on immunity deal crucial, inquiry told

THE Crown never disclosed to the defence that Ray Zanidean was negotiating a deal for immunity on a Swift Current arson in return for his testimony in James Driskell's murder trial, Driskell's trial lawyer Greg Brodsky said yesterday.

"He was trying to buy his way out of the charge --- I would have had to know that, in order to discredit him," Brodsky told the inquiry into Driskell's wrongful conviction for the 1990 murder of Perry Dean Harder.

"The whole complexion of the trial could have been changed," he said.

Brodsky told the hearing that there was extensive information and evidence not disclosed to him, which could have allowed him to discredit Zanidean and other witnesses, or to mount an appeal of Driskell's conviction.

"There are many reasons we should know a witness is being bought," Brodsky said. "He would swear to a scripted scenario. I would have to know about the bargains -- the jury would have to know, more importantly than me."

Brodsky said the Crown also did not disclose to him that Zanidean had told Winnipeg police in October of 1990 that he had committed arson in Swift Current. Zanidean made that admission during the interview in which Zanidean had stepped forward to tell police that Driskell had murdered Harder.

"Absolutely not. It would have been delightful to have this before I started cross-examination" of Zanidean at Driskell's murder trial on June 11, 1991, Brodsky said.Zanidean became the key witness against Driskell in order to protect himself from prosecution for the arson that Driskell had witnessed, Brodsky said.

Driskell spent 12 years behind bars for Harder's murder. He always maintained innocence. Four years ago, Driskell's conviction was quashed by the federal Justice Department after DNA tests proved hairs used to convict him were not Harder's.

"Zanidean wanted to protect himself from prosecution. Getting someone charged with murder is a good way to discredit a witness," Brodsky said. Brodsky knew from Driskell that there had been an arson.

Previous police witnesses have said that when Zanidean stepped forward in October of 1990, he advised police that he could have problems with his credibility because he had burned down his sister's house in Swift Current. Zanidean sought immunity from the arson, in exchange for testifying against Driskell.

"If there was anything in there that people were seeking favour, I should know about it," Brodsky said.

"I wanted to know if people had a motive for falsely implicating Mr. Driskell in the killing, and whether there were any deals being made." Brodsky said he pressed the police and Crown to disclose whether they were offering Zanidean immunity on the arson in exchange for his testimony against Driskell, or whether police simply lacked the evidence to lay an arson charge.

"I intended to deal with the Swift Current fire" at Driskell's trial, Brodsky said. "My questions are more potent if they're backed up by police investigation or notes, than if they're out of the air from my imagination," Brodsky said.

Retired Winnipeg police sergeant Albert Paul has told the inquiry that the late Bruce Miller, then Manitoba's director of prosecutions, told Paul and his partner Tom Anderson that Miller had negotiated an immunity deal with Saskatchewan, but ordered the two officers not to tell Zanidean, to avoid tainting his testimony.

Zanidean then told the murder trial that he did not have an immunity deal.

"We don't allow witnesses to lie in court. We don't allow witnesses to fool the court," whether a lawyer is the defence or the prosecution, Brodsky said.

Brodsky said that he did not know prior to the inquiry that Zanidean had a "blow-up" with his police handlers immediately after the trial on June 20, 1991, in which Zanidean threatened to recant his testimony.

Witnesses have described the incident, but have not specified what Zanidean would have changed about his testimony.

He would certainly have wanted to know, had he been aware of Zanidean's outburst, Brodsky said, and he would have demanded an investigation.

Earlier yesterday, David Kovnats, Zanidean's lawyer, spoke directly to the hearing -- in what commissioner Judge Patrick LeSage said was an unusual move -- and declared that Manitoba lawyers take each other's word, without needing to have everything in writing. Kovnats has come under heavy fire at the hearing for lacking notes, letters and written reports on his claim that in late 1990, both Winnipeg police and Miller promised Zanidean immunity in the arson and relocation to B.C. with a new identity.

"In Manitoba, we do a lot of things under trust conditions. Our practice is an honourable one. The attitude was, you don't write letters for everything," Kovnats said.

The hearing continues this morning.


Ewatski faces grilling on report

WINNIPEG Police Chief Jack Ewatski sat in his inner office at the Public Safety Building on Princess Street, fielding yet another request to view a report on the grisly 1990 murder of Perry Dean Harder.

It was January, 1999, nearly eight years after James Driskell had been convicted of first-degree murder in connection with Harder's death. It was also some six years after Ewatski and a colleague were asked to review the Harder murder investigation, to ensure no evidence was left uncovered and no witness had been coerced.

The report produced by that review was not released until 2003, but in a one-sentence summary police said they had not been able to uncover anything that would indicate Driskell was not involved in the Harder murder.

Hotly pursued

Despite these assurances, the Harder murder investigation report continued to be hotly pursued over the years.

There had been heroic efforts made by Janie Duncan, a Winnipeg private detective who had long believed Driskell was innocent. In the late 1990s, the report was also sought by the Innocence Project, a group of Osgoode Hall law students led by wrongful conviction champion Dianne Martin. And finally, the Free Press had come knocking on Ewatski's door.

After welcoming a reporter into his office, Ewatski pointed to the corner of his modest desk, where a copy of the report sat tantalizingly close by. Ewatski pointed at it and explained that the reporter was never going to get a look at it.

Ewatski said the report was internal, and thus confidential. He also said all of the officers involved in the case had been told they could not talk to anyone outside the department about the case.

Despite turning down this latest request, Ewatski wanted to put the reporter's mind at ease. "You're going to have to trust me. There is nothing in that report that would help Jim Driskell."

Fast-forward to August, 2006. Driskell's conviction has been quashed by the federal justice minister, and now an inquiry into certain aspects of his wrongful conviction is unfolding at a glacial pace in a downtown meeting room at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

If events go as planned, today Ewatski will be on the witness stand to explain in public, for the very first time, his decision to keep the review report from public view for so many years. It would be an understatement to say that Ewatski has some explaining to do.

While Ewatski has never commented on the findings of the report, other credible sources have weighed in on its probative value.

Associate Chief Justice Jeffrey Oliphant of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench will go down in history as the man who ultimately unlocked the secrets of the report when he ordered it released as part of a bail application launched by Driskell's lawyers in November 2003. The revelations in the report included:

• Confirmation a Crown witness had committed perjury at Driskell's trial;

• That police arranged for witnesses to receive CrimeStoppers rewards after giving statements incriminating Driskell;

• That police had likely inserted incriminating facts into some witness statement;

• That Winnipeg police offered an unauthorized immunity deal for pending arson charges in Saskatchewan in exchange for testimony from a key witness.

Oliphant said the report contained new evidence, some of which was highly embarrassing for the police. Oliphant concluded the report was relevant to Driskell's efforts to prove his innocence.

In the face of this and other credible assessments of the report, Ewatski's testimony at the Driskell inquiry is highly anticipated. Will Ewatski will finally agree there was something in his report that would have, could have, helped Driskell? Or, will he stick to his guns and insist there is nothing in the report of any value?

The stakes are very high for witnesses at the Driskell inquiry. Commissioner Patrick LeSage has been given the authority to recommend professional sanctions or criminal investigation of anyone found to have willfully withheld evidence in this case.

Ewatski once asked those who asked for the Harder murder report to trust him when he said there was nothing in it that would help Jim Driskell. Now that others have viewed the report, and have generally disagreed with Ewatski's assessment, LeSage will need to hear directly from the police chief about why he steadfastly refused to releasethe report.


Warrant kept key witnesses from fleeing
Crown didn't disclose that: lawyer

JAMES Driskell's defence was hurt by the Crown's failure to disclose that four key witnesses at his 1991 murder trial were under a special warrant to prevent them from fleeing the province, Driskell's lawyer charged yesterday.

Manitoba's Crown and police see nothing wrong in not disclosing vital evidence and information to defence lawyers, Greg Brodsky told the inquiry into Driskell's wrongful conviction for the 1990 murder of Perry Dean Harder.

"The main problem is, people didn't seem to think, don't seem to think, that it's wrong," Brodsky said.

Brodsky said it would have been significant to know that at least four witnesses against Driskell were under a material witness warrant -- a legal device giving police control over witnesses likely to flee, he said.

Brodsky said he learned only last week that Winnipeg police arrested key witness Ray Zanidean in Calgary on May 26, 1991, and brought him back to Winnipeg under a material witness warrant, 16 days before he testified at Driskell's murder trial.

"There has to be a basis to restrict someone's liberty" if that person is not facing charges, most likely that the witness will flee, said Brodsky.

He did not know at the time of the trial that the police had material witness warrants for other key witnesses, including John Gomieny and brothers Ashif and Shafik Kara."It only applies to someone who's running away. They pull that leash -- it's a continual reminder who's in control, the police," said Brodsky.Brodsky said the withholding of information by the prosecution was not just a problem for Driskell, but is a problem for other people facing criminal charges in other cases in Manitoba.

Brodsky said that had the Crown not withheld extensive information -- especially that Zanidean was cutting a deal for immunity on a Swift Current arson in return for his testimony against Driskell -- he could have better defended Driskell at his 1991 trial, or far better pursued a 1992 appeal that Driskell lost.

Driskell spent 12 years behind bars for Harder's murder. He always maintained his innocence. Four years ago, Driskell's conviction was quashed by the federal Justice Department after DNA tests proved hairs used to convict him were not Harder's.

Police often decide not to put in writing information they don't want to turn over to the defence, Brodsky told the inquiry. "I didn't think the Crown would do that. These are honourable people -- some of them are my friends."

Brodsky said George Dangerfield, the Crown who prosecuted Driskell, was usually better at disclosure than most Crowns. And Brodsky echoed other witnesses who assumed that the late Bruce Miller, then Manitoba's director of prosecutions, would tell Dangerfield everything he knew.

Brodsky agreed with Douglas Abra, the lawyer for Miller's estate, that Miller was ethical, trustworthy and had integrity. Abra pointed out that Zanidean's handlers, retired homicide sergeants Albert Paul and Tom Anderson, have testified that Miller told them he'd made an immunity deal for Zanidean, but ordered them not to tell Zanidean until after he'd testified against Driskell.

"Is there any way in the world you can see that Bruce Miller would give instructions of that nature to those police officers?" asked Abra.

Replied Brodsky: "No. He wouldn't."

The inquiry continues this morning with Brodsky on the witness stand. Winnipeg police Chief Jack Ewatski is expected to begin testifying this morning.