(Canadian Press) – Perjury charges have now been laid against the four Mounties who confronted Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport and repeatedly stunned him with a Taser in October 2007.
The officers — Const. Bill Bentley, Const. Kwesi Millington, Const. Gerry Rundell and Cpl. Benjamin Robinson — are accused of lying during the testimony they gave during a public inquiry into Dziekanski’s death.
Dziekanski was en route from Poland to join his mother in Kamloops, B.C., where he hoped to begin a new life.
Immediately after the incident, the RCMP said Dziekanski was violent and refused to co-operate with the Mounties, but a bystander’s video appeared to contradict that version of events.
The head of the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Dziekanski’s death, Thomas Braidwood, concluded in his 2010 report that the four RCMP officers deliberately misrepresented their actions during investigations into the incident and at the inquiry.
The perjury charges were recommended by special prosecutor Richard Peck in a report released May 6, although he didn’t recommend any charges relating to the death itself.
The B.C. Criminal Justice Branch said in a statement Thursday that the charges were filed Wednesday by direct indictment, meaning there will be no preliminary hearing.
Lawyers for two of the accused said their clients will plead not guilty and vigorously defend themselves.
The officers will make their first appearance in court on June 29.