VANCOUVER - Gillian Guess, the juror who had an affair with an accused man during his murder trial, portrayed herself in court yesterday as being romantically stalked by him.
"I just felt like ... he was always there," said Ms. Guess, who strode into court escorted by undercover police officers on either side.
She said Peter Gill seemed to be everywhere she went while she was serving on the jury that heard a double murder case against him and two co-accused.
He was there when she turned around after using a courthouse pay phone, he was there when she lined up for lunch at McDonald's, there when she parked and there in a car beside her in traffic, motioning for her to wind down her window.
The court already knows, from earlier proceedings, that eventually he was there in bed beside her — but for the first time yesterday, Ms. Guess testified about how her relationship began during the early stages of Mr. Gill's 1995 murder trial.
Testifying voluntarily, because, as a juror she could not be compelled to appear, Ms. Guess said she first saw Peter Gill when she sat in court with 500 other potential jurors.
She said she did not realize he was one of the accused until he took his place beside Michael Budai and Ho Sik (Phil) Kim, who along with Mr. Gill were charged for their alleged involvement in the 1994 slaying of Ron and Jim Dosanjh.
Later, he began making eye contact with her in court, she testified. And then he began to appear near her wherever she went outside court.
"I was aware very early on ... it appeared to me that he was following me," she said.
"I was finding it alarming, but at the same time I was feeling I didn't want to get him into trouble by reporting it," she said.
Ms. Guess said that Peter Gill — who would later be acquitted of murder by the jury she was on — approached her for the first time when she was lined up at McDonald's, waiting to order lunch.
"I was still standing in line, all of a sudden I heard someone say: 'I didn't do this. This is none of my s---. My brother-in-law, Bindy, dragged me into this.'"
She said she turned around to find Mr. Gill immediately behind her.
Ms. Guess said it seemed impossible to get away from Mr. Gill's intense gaze. Their eye contact became so intense, she said, that after awhile she felt she was communicating with him.
"I know this is going to sound really bizarre, because it is ... I did at times feel I was able to non-verbally communicate with him," she said.
Ms. Guess said her feelings grew as did her doubts about his alleged guilt.
"It appeared to some people that the Crown case was falling apart ... I started to feel a lot of confusion about who were the good guys and bad guys," she said.
Gillian Guess, who at the time of the trial was working as a victim's counsellor for the RCMP, said one day she was on the pay phone when she got bad news: A client of hers had attempted suicide.
When she turned around, there was Mr. Gill, ready to offer comfort.
"He said, 'It's not your fault' ... at that time he started to become a pseudo-support system for me," she testified.
Ms. Guess gave her testimony during a new evidence hearing, which the Crown has called in an attempt to win a retrial for Peter Gill and his two co-accused.
The case continues.
After nearly four days of acrimonious testimony, directed mainly at her former lover Peter Gill, disgraced juror Gillian Guess briefly turned her sights on B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Ian Donald yesterday.
Known for his patience and polite courtroom manner, Justice Donald took pains to remind the strong-willed witness not to discuss her evidence outside court, just before the afternoon break.
Surprisingly, Guess challenged the judge's direction, explaining that she would be surrounded by deputy sheriffs and bodyguards for the entire 15-minute break.
"I don't want you to discuss your evidence with anyone," Justice Donald repeated courteously, betraying a hint of exasperation.
"I don't think that's a lawful order to put me under," Guess advised the judge.
Three lawyers fighting to preserve the not-guilty verdicts of their clients in a high-profile 1995 murder case — which were rendered by Guess and her fellow jurors — have fared about as well as His Lordship in their quest to get simple answers from Guess.
The lawyers for Gill, Michael Kent Budai and Ho Sik (Phil) Kim are hoping to convince an Appeal Court panel Guess is not believable and her claims of having an affair with Gill during the murder trial — not after it — are false.
Crown counsel Mark Andrews is arguing the acquittals of Gill, Kim and Budai were tainted by Guess and Gill carrying on a sexual relationship, and should be overturned.
Guess, herself, was convicted in 1998 of obstructing justice and sentenced to 18 months in jail, but is free on bail pending her appeal. [lost]
Budai's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, asked Guess why, if she was convinced Peter Gill was stalking her, didn't she didn't tell deputy sheriffs, the trial judge or her co-workers at North Van RCMP detachment.
Guess repeated she preferred to be a friend of Gill rather than incur his wrath as his enemy.
She also detailed the great lengths she went to researching whether the law on intimate contact between an accused and juror. It is not illegal, she surmised.
"If the judge asked me, I would have loved an opportunity to get off that jury," she said. "I was scared stiff [of Gill]."
Scoffing at her reply, Donaldson suggested, "In the relationship you had with Gill after the trial, you had all the power."
"How can you say that?" she responded indignantly.
"He had an appeal pending," said Donaldson.
He continued: "Even if you had a relationship during the trial, you held all the power."
"I had no power at all," replied Guess.
"Pick up the phone and dial 911?" offered Donaldson.
"And get killed! Or get my kids killed!" countered Guess. "I had no street smarts whatsoever."
The hearing concludes today.
A five-judge Appeal Court panel will then decide how much of the evidence heard over the past two weeks is admissible and whether the three respondents should be retried for the murders of Jim and Ron Dosanjh.
VANCOUVER - New evidence including cellular telephone calls allegedly made between accused killer Peter Gill and juror Gillian Guess will be introduced in a murder case appeal, a prosecutor said yesterday.
Bill Berardino, representing the Crown in appealing the acquittal of Gill and two co-accused, told the British Columbia Court of Appeal that he intends to bring in fresh evidence concerning the relationship between Gill and Guess.
He said he will show that seven or eight cell phone calls were made to Guess during the trial and one was made to her on the day the jury she was serving on voted to acquit Gill, Michael Budai, Bindy Johal, and Ho Sik (Phil) Kim, for the 1994 murders of Ron and Jim Dosanjh.
Mr. Berardino said the calls were made "where Gill had access to the phones and the owners said they would not have made calls to Miss Guess."
He also said the court will hear about "what was going on between Guess and Gill in court" with transcripts and video tapes being entered as evidence.
Mr. Berardino said he will argue that the murder trial was "contaminated" by the relationship between Gill and Guess.
Five judges and nine lawyers spent the day in court yesterday trying to sort out the process. One key question raised by the judges was whether the matter should be heard by the appellant or trial courts.
"We've never had an appeal based on anything like this," said Justice Katherine Ryan.
She lost an appeal for a new trial
She lost her appeal for the sentence
"Leave to appeal is granted and the appeal is dismissed"
The next time you get called for Jury Duty, read up on what happened to Gillian Guess before you go on down to the Courthouse to get picked! So, it was unwise of Ms. Guess to get involved with one of the accused. Well, you knew that. But what other "unwise" things might you do that you don't now know are "unwise?" The court was well aware of Gillian Guess's "unwise" act almost as soon as it began. It was their obligation to stop it and they didn't. Only upon not receiving the verdict they wanted did they move against Gillian Guess. They moved against her with charges which don't even exist! If her reactions to all of this seem somewhat extreme, perhaps it is because you've only been reading the media hype. If you follow her story carefully, you will quickly see that what has happened to her could happen to anyone who happens to sit on a jury where the Crown fails to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Are the officers of the Court (cops, crown and judges) trying to get rid of what is left of the jury system by making a total mockery of our right to be tried before a jury of our peers? Get rid of juries, get rid of our right to full answer and defence (disclosure) and what are we left with? Ever heard of a police state?
Her Majesty the Queen v. Gillian Guess
March 3rd, 1999
Dear Ms. Guess;
I saw the report in the Vancouver Sun on Friday, February 26, 1999. The report that the Attorney General met with the brother of the accused, Peter Gill, raises some very interesting questions and further brings into question the verdict in your case. 1) Did the Attorney General and Mr. Gill discuss jury selection in the Gill or in the Guess case? 2) Did the Attorney General and Mr. Gill discuss the selection of the judge in the Gill or in the Guess case? 3) Did the Attorney General discuss anything about the Gill or Guess case? 4) What was there about the secret meeting between Gill and Dosanjh that prompted the Crown to ask that the wiretap evidence be kept secret?
It is now very obvious that the secret meeting was critical information and evidence from the wiretaps would have assisted you at your trial. Justice Paris denied you access to it and kept it secret from you because he was acting on instructions from the Crown and because they both knew the information would have influenced the jury.
Both Justice Paris and the Crown wanted to keep the information from your jury because it would have raised a reasonable doubt about your guilt in the mind of any fair-minded jury.
Justice Paris may say that the information was irrelevant but, if it was irrelevant, then why not just let your lawyer present the facts to the jury. The simple answer is that the information was relevant and, if it was presented to your jury, it would likely have led to a dismissal of the charges against you.
Relevance is a matter of factual determination; it is not a matter of law. In a jury trial, the jury is supposed to determine which facts are relevant to prove guilt and which are not. The judge rules on the law.
By keeping these facts from you and from the jury, the trial judge denied you the right to fair jury trial. Justice Paris also denied each member of the jury the right to hear evidence and decide its relevance to your guilt or innocence.
The jurors should be outraged at Justice Paris for taking away their right to try you fairly.
Remember, the Attorney General administers the Courts and the Office of Crown Counsel. He gets to select the judges who sit on the cases, not you.
The newspaper reports that the RCMP and Ernie Quantz, the Deputy Attorney General, are investigating your alleged breach of a court order.
These guys move very fast when caught with their pants down. They are obviously working in concert to protect the key to the whole system which is the office of the Attorney General and its tentacles of control into the courts.
Do not be surprised if the Crown lays further charges against you just to teach you a lesson.
However, the Court Order of Justice Paris was a nullity. It was wrong in law, in principle and in practice. It was contrary to your ancient and constitiutional right to retain and instruct counsel. It was contrary to all generally accepted legal principles. As it was a nullity at law, you have done nothing wrong. At law a nullity does not exist. Any charges against you resulting from your publication of your lawyers notes would be more harassment to prevent more embarrassment.
Do not be surprised if the Attorney General asks the Courts for a gag order. This would be an order restraining you from speaking to the press, using your website and possibly restraining the Canadian media from reporting on your case. As you are getting legal advice from Harvard, (as well as many other web sources) any order to prevent you using the web would be interferring with your right to retain and instruct counsel. It would also offend your right to free speech and the freedom of the press but it would not be surprising judging from the Gestapo-like tactics used thus far.
Go forward in the cause of truth and justice against the power of forces in high places.
I write to you in your capacity as the Law Society's general counsel with respect to an unusual matter that has arisen in a case which I am involved as counsel. Peter Ritchie and I represented at trial Gillian Guess, the juror who was convicted in June of attempting to obstruct justice. We are troubled by certain matters that arose during the course of the trial of this case, and which continue to pose difficulties.
Mr. Justice Paris was assigned the trial judge for Ms. Guess's Supreme Court trial. In the months leading up to the selection of the jury, the trial judge heard a number of pre-trial applications as well as a lengthy wiretap voir dire. Mr Joseph Bellows and Ms. Diane Weidemann represented the Crown at the preliminary hearing and at trial. During the preliminary hearing and again during pretrial proceedings and the void dire, Mr. Josiah Wood and Mr. Peter Juk, of Mr. Wood's office, also appeared in Court on the matter.
Mr. Wood and Mr. Juk urged the Provincial Court Judge at the preliminary hearing and the Supreme Court trial judge at the pre-trial motions and void dire stages not to provide the defence with disclosure of many of the intercepted private communications obtained through a police wiretap investigation of our client. They asserted that these communications were not relevant. Ultimately, in October, 1997, Mr. Justice Paris ruled that Mr. Ritchie and I were permitted to see the previously non-disclosed wiretap interceptions on the condition that we not disclose the content of those interceptions to anyone, including our client, without the consent of the court or the consent of the Crown. With reluctance, we began to review the previously-withheld wiretap interceptions, in the hope that should anything relevant arise in those materials we would be able to persuade the trial judge to permit us to share the information with our client and use it in the defence of the case.
In the spring of 1998, as the trial date approached, and as we continued to pore through the many thousands of wiretap interceptions, additional Court applications were made by us to the trial judge in which we sought permission to share with our client some of the information we had learned, and in which we also sought disclosure of certain additional, related, documents. Mr. Juk made submissions with respect to these issues.
The trial judge then ruled, on the urging of counsel from Mr. Wood's office, that in order for us to make the appliactions to him regarding these materials (the wiretap interceptions and related documents) the courtroom must be closed and our client directed to leave the courtroom. She was accordingly ordered to leave Court while these matters were dealt with. Our client's exclusion was over our strenuous objection, as we took the position that she had a right to participate in her trial and to be present for all proceedings. On subsequent occasions she again was ordered to leave court. The transcripts of the proceedings that took place in the absence of our client and the public were ordered sealed. With respect to these proceedings, the trial judge ordered that neither Mr. Ritchie nor I share the information that we learned through these proceedings with our client, our spouses, with our law partners, or with anyone else. No similar order was put on the Crown, on Mr. Juk or Mr. Wood, on the court clerk, or on court reporters who were present in court for the secret proceedings. Certain "secret documents", which we were not permitted to keep copies of, were also ordered sealed. Those documents were placed in the custody of Mrs. Lambert, Deputy District Registrar. The Learned Trial Judge further ordered that the defence could not use the information that we had learned through secret court proceedings to conduct defence investigations, in or out of court.
I note that I must be circumspect in describing herein the circumstances of "secret court" because of the nature of the orders which bind Mr. Ritchie and me.
We are troubled as to how to order appeal books when we have sealed transcripts. We are gravely concerned at the prospect of a secret appeal from which our client may be excluded. We fear the possibility of an appeal in which the secret court matters may not be fully aired. The writing of a factum is not presently possible due to the secrecy orders.
It is our view that the invocation of secret court proceedings in which an accused is barred from attending her own trial and in which counsel are prevented from discussing matters with their client, or conducting investigations of information received, are issues of serious implication for the profession.
Marilyn E. Sandford - GIBBONS RITCHIE
VANCOUVER (CP) --British Columbia's attorney general has rejected suggestions a high-school friendship has placed him in a conflict of interest bind over the Gillian Guess case. Guess is an ex-juror tried and convicted over her fling with accused killer Peter Gill while sitting on the jury that acquitted the man and five others.
On Thursday, Dosanjh said his friendship with Peter Gill's brother had no impact on the Guess case.
"There is absolutely no conflict of interest, real or apparent," said an exasperated Dosanjh.
"I've known Paul Gill since he was a kid at high school, since 1978, '79, but that's the end of the story."
During an appearance on cable TV, Guess said she had documents to show that Dosanjh was in a conflict of interest because of his friendship with Paul Gill while running the province's justice system.
Dosanjh says he's seen the Gill family about six times in the last 30 years. A senior official in Dosanjh's ministry noted that all matters related to the prosecution of Guess were handled by a special prosecutor.
The prosecutor, Josiah Wood, is considering the possibility of charging Peter Gill with obstruction of justice.
Guess, 43, was convicted following a sensational trial last summer. Although sentenced to 18 months in jail, Guess is now free pending an appeal.
February 25, 1999
The following are excerpts from documentation regarding some of the "Star Chamber" proceedings in the Gillian Guess proceedings.
The substance of the call was that Mr Salmon was asking Mr Paul Gill to keep his distance from Mr. Dosanjh because of the police investigation relating to Paul Gill's brother, Peter Gill. It was apparent from the content of the log entry, that the investigation being referred to was the investigation which ultimately lead to the charges against the accused herein (Gillian Guess).
It was evident from the log entry relating to the Gill/Salmon call that Paul Gill was a personal friend of Mr. Ujjal Dosanjh, and Gill visited his house two or three times a week.
Matter had to do with ?Taylor - destroying documents wiretap or jury documents.
As well, some other aspects - special prosecutor brought in upon phones calls - aide - Mr. Wood, who prepared report re: Criminal Investigation.
Juk had edited transcripts.
I saw material that I was not supposed to see.
To Judge Raymond Paris, "You've directed that we cannot cross-examine witness or discuss with anyone".
Defense perplexed - we cannot discuss with client.
Not only Salmon call - special prosecutor - burning documents - c/c arose from investigation.
Morning Session - Judge orders court closed.
Next point is it appears AG contacts a person only mentioned by initials.
Notes of FITZ. pp222 - call from Dosanjh.
Salmond interviewed by police.
Investigation went on other avenues.
Involvement of AG & charging Peter Gill.
I thought we had all transcripts of intercepts - surprise to me that call of Salmond transcribed and withheld also conversations with unidentified female and Paul Gill.
Also I want to develop illegal wiretap argument.
Material in Black Binders interwoven.
"Can I say to client - What about rlsp AG and Paul Gill?"
"Can I ask GG what she/others may know about Paul Gill/AG/police
Client never said phone call from aide. But general discussion - difficult for defense to persue.
Involvement of AG in entirety - I wish to investigate call to Cr. Co - Special Prosecutor brought in to advise police - JOE Wood prepared report - no criminal investigation.
Also if clerk burned documents because shredder broken for desensitzing.
Gillian Guess present.
Request that the records reflect Gillian Guess is here - she is very concerned re: this matter.
I don't know if I can continue to act for her.
She is concerned re: her exclusion from trial and her Charter of Rights.
I don't think I've ever been in camera ex-parte without my client.
Crown says all calls of Gillian Guess disclosed.
We found 80 calls of GG that they had not disclosed.
I want other materials, first calls of room bugs.
Another category - my client's life in danger - dozen calls - Dosanjh crowd, Johal crowd.
Fitz. Notes (Brendan Fitzpatrick - RCMP)
14:20 Barry Simmons & Paul Gill
Listened to cassette tape.
14:32 taped over Barry Salmond 1 of 2 assistants to Ujjal Dosanjh.
14:20 out of men's room - turned cassette and transcript over to Rinn.
HQ - File main
Spoke with L.W. re: call from Mr. Dosanjh.
Rinn's Notes - Jan 23/96
To moniter room - picked up transcripts of Paul Gill/Barry Simmons
Appears Barry Salmond knows more - have to establish how much the AG has been told.
Intercepts indicate Paul Gill will be approaching the AG tells him of the call he received.
Fitz, Joe, Kiloh to review logs for "AG" info.
Bass advises Barry Salmond is on a leave of absence - working on NDP campaign.
Black Binder - Bob Wright says hire Special Prosecutor and Joe Wood is hired.
Burning of exhibits
In another twist, Judge Paris made a statement in court yesterday dismissing a CBC report that Ms. Guess was excluded from a part of her trial, which her lawyer was ordered not to discuss with her. Some legal experts suggested that a "secret trial" may be grounds for an appeal or a mistrial."
"No part of this trial was held in the absence of the accused," the judge said."
Last Updated:Same Day Coverage - Thursday 25 February 1999
Board members (incl. Paul Gill) pay for see-no-evil policy - "damning evidence of lies and coverups"
VANCOUVER — Gillian Guess, Canada's most famous juror, fears for her safety and plans to fight efforts to force her to testify in the appeal of a double murder trial.
"The Crown has announced that they intend to apply to have me subpoenaed to testify against alleged murderers," Guess said yesterday outside the B.C. Court of Appeal.
"I feel anybody in this situation, forget about it being Gillian Guess, certainly is at high risk at having their own and their family's lives in danger."
Surrounded by the usual phalanx of reporters, Guess, 43, had represented herself in an effort to try to change her bail conditions. She has severed ties with her lawyers and appeared alone before Justice Carol Huddart on the bail application, pending her appeal of her conviction of obstruction of justice.
The judge adjourned the bail matter to Feb. 17.
Guess was convicted last summer for having an affair with accused killer Peter Gill while she was on the jury that acquitted him and five other men in a pair of gangland slayings.
Wiretaps of her home and witness testimony confirmed she and Gill were having sex, although it wasn't clear whether Gill urged her to acquit him.
The Crown is appealing those acquittals and Guess believes she will be subpoenaed to testify.
The thought of testifying terrifies her, she said.
She said her former lawyer wanted to have her relocated under the federal witness protection program.
"I decided to stay because everywhere I go in Canada people will know me, unfortunately."
She was in court yesterday because she doesn't want to have to report to a bail supervisor four times a month.
Prior to her conviction, she had been reporting once a month in person, and once a week by telephone.
That was changed after her conviction to once a week in person.
"Basically, it's become a mind game," she told reporters. "They (bail officials) keep me in there up to an hour. I've had unsavoury characters phone me as a result of sitting in that office.
"It's very frightening for me."
The judge ruled there was a discrepancy between Guess's understanding of her bail supervisor's recommendations and what the Crown was told.
The court ordered the bail supervisor's version to be filed by affidavit and a decision would be made Feb. 17.
She also told the judge she wants to have her own appeal moved to another province because she worries she won't get a fair hearing here.
But the judge said she couldn't rule on that and advised Guess to apply in writing to the court's chief justice.