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From the court transcripts of the preliminary hearing which ended with Finley ordering the accused to stand trial -- despite Miazga's protests his witnesses had no credibility

January 9, 1991

JUDGE FINLEY: Hello, Michael, how are you?


JUDGE FINLEY: Have you been waiting here all day today?


JUDGE FINLEY: All day, that's too bad. I'm sorry it's been such a long time. You're - you won't be doing much testifying, if any, today but we thought we would bring you in and introduce you to the people and remind you how a courtroom works. Once again, I want to know, do you know who the man at the back in the blue jacket is, Michael? Not his name but do you know what he his, what his --


JUDGE FINLEY: That's right, he's here to make sure that we're all safe. And do you know who the man and lady are at the table at the -- near you?



MICHAEL ROSS: Matt and Sonja.

JUDGE FINLEY: Matt and sonja. And do you know what their job is?

MICHAEL ROSS: To ask me questions and listen to what --

JUDGE FINLEY: That's right, they represent what they call the Crown or the people or the government, and they will be asking you questions. And the lady in the dress, she's the clerk of the court. And then at the other table, while Matt and Sonja, that's Mr. Miazga and Miss Hansen, represent the Crown, Mr. Borden and Mr. Labach at the next table, they represent the accused people. Now Mr. Borden is the one nearest to you, in the dark blue tie. They both have blue jackets and stiped blue shirts so I can't tell them apart that way. So Mr. Borden has the blue tie, do you see him?


JUDGE FINLEY: Now he represents the Kvellos. And then Mr. Labach, beside him, he represents the Klassens. And then do you know what I am?


JUDGE FINLEY: I'm the Judge. Do you remember my name?

MICHAEL ROSS: Judge Finley.

JUDGE FINLEY: That's right. And do you remember my birthday?

MICHAEL ROSS: October 18.

JUDGE FINLEY: Very good, and how do you like that. That's a great day to have a birthday on, isn't it? Are we going to -- maybe we should start sending each other birthday presents, do you think?


JUDGE FINLEY: Alright. Now Michael, coming to court is very serious business, do you understand that?

MICHAEL ROSS: (No audible reply)

JUDGE FINLEY: And when you come to court you're going to be providing, some people call it evidence and some people call it testimony, you may be giving evidence relating to experiences you've had and things that happened to you. Other people will say you'll be giving evidence. In any event, you're going to be telling me what has happened to you. Now is there any requirement with respect to what you tell me being the truth or not the truth?

MICHAEL ROSS: I have to tell you the truth.

JUDGE FINLEY: Why would you have to tell me the truth?

MICHAEL ROSS: Because after, like I put my hand on the Bible, then I have to tell the truth.

JUDGE FINLEY: Alright. What would happen if you didn't tell the truth?

MICHAEL ROSS: I could be put in, like 'cause I'm twelve years old and I'm old enough to be put into city work, like --

JUDGE FINLEY: Into what?

MICHAEL ROSS: Into city work.

JUDGE FINLEY: Into city works, is that what you said? What -- I'm sorry, what kind of -- do you want to move that microphone around just a little so you're talking into it. No, the other way so you talk more into it. Yeah. What happens to you if you don't tell the truth? It's okay, you were doing fine, it's just that I didn't hear.

MICHAEL ROSS: Like I could be put into city work.

JUDGE FINLEY: Okay. Would that -- that's kind of a punishment, is that what you mean?

MICHAEL ROSS: (No audible reply)

JUDGE FINLEY: Alright. Now what about people that - if you told lies about the accused people, what might happen to them?

MICHAEL ROSS: They could put a charge on me.

JUDGE FINLEY: They could put a charge on you. And what if you said things that -- that they had done things that they really hadn't done, what might happen to them?

MICHAEL ROSS: Then they could still put a charge on me and that would mean -- then if I would tell a lie.

JUDGE FINLEY: Okay. And maybe they could go to jail when they weren't -- shouldn't have to go to jail too, do you believe that?

MICHAEL ROSS: (No audible reply)


MICHAEL ROSS: Well, they should go to jail.

JUDGE FINLEY: No, but if you told a lie about them and it wasn't true and if me or some other judge believed you and put them in jail for the lie, that wouldn't be proper, would it?


JUDGE FINLEY: Do you know what an oath is, Michael?

MICHAEL ROSS: An oath is where you put your hand on the bible and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

JUDGE FINLEY: Alright. And once again, I'm repeating this but I'm going to ask you again, if you do take an oath to tell the truth and you don't tell thetruth, then what happens?

MICHAEL ROSS: I could be put in a punishment.

JUDGE FINLEY: Alright. Now can you give me an illustration between -- the difference between a lie and the truth, an example?

MICHAEL ROSS: Well say I stole gum from the store and the police -- the alarm went off in the store and then I say I lied and say I didn't, and then if I told the truth I would say I did.

JUDGE FINLEY: Yeah, that's right. It would be a lie to -- that if you did something and then said you didn't do it, that would be a lie. Another example of a lie wopuld be if you didn't do something and said you did, that would be a lie. Another example of a lie would be if you said, if somebody else didn't do something and you said they did, that would be a lie. Like if you told the police that I stole the gum, when I didn't, that would be a lie, then I might get into trouble. Okay. Do you understand that?


JUDGE FINLEY: I'm satisfied that Michael understands the nature of an oath and that he is able to communicate his evidence, and I'm prepared to accept his testimony under oath. Would you swear Michael in please.

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Publisher: Sheila Steele 1943-2006

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