LSUC Witness in Tangles
At the end of the day on Monday October 24, 2011 the Law Society (LSUC) chief investigator into Harry Kopyto’s good character hearing looked pale and worn. A cop for 17 years in a dead-end job without prospects of promotion and looking to escape, Adrian Greenaway became the chief investigator in about 100 out of 240 grandparenting applications after he was hired by the LSUC in 2007. On the stand for a second day and facing fierce cross-examination by Harry, Greenaway found himself tangled in some embarrassing revelations that have punched a hole in the LSUC’s prosecution.
First, he admitted that the decision to force Kopyto into the good character hearing grinder was made as soon as Harry applied to be grandparented, not at the end of an investigation as the LSUC claims.
Second, in an attempt to counter Kopyto’s charge of a biased investigation, Greenaway testified strenuously that he agreed that Harry was fearless in his commitment to justice and to exposing the frailties of the judicial system. This unscripted admission caught the entire hearing room by surprise as the LSUC had attacked Harry for using intemperate, offensive and disrespectful language in criticizing judicial institutions. (In fact, Kopyto was charged with professional misconduct by the LSUC for saying that “the RCMP and courts are stuck together with crazy-glue” in the 1980s). This shocking admission by Greenaway resulted in desperate objections by the panicking LSUC prosecutors who were quickly over-ruled.
Third, Greenaway admitted that he didn’t know who to believe in connection with one ex-client’s complaint about Harry. He admitted that Harry’s version could be credible. He candidly admitted that his workload did not permit him to investigate the case properly.
LSUC Steamroller Sputters
Greenaway’s evidence became even more bizarre as the day wore on. At one point, he said he wanted to meet Harry out of curiosity to ask him about a metaphor that Harry used to describe the good character hearings process to the media.
Greenaway was a foundational witness for the prosecution assigned to build a case against Harry. But his acknowledgement of Harry’s commitment to justice at whatever the personal cost to him, clashes dramatically with the prosecutors’ picture of Harry as dishonest and self-interested. A gaping hole has opened in the evidentiary web spun by the prosecutors. Although far from fatal to the Law Society’s case, possibilities for fighting back abound. The Law Society steamroller that was expected to roll over Kopyto has sputtered and choked. Harry is neatly but forcefully dissecting the evidence against him to expose the systemic bias of a system that dreads anyone in whom it cannot instill fear.
Greenaway’s evidence is far from over. Harry has just scratched the surface.
Fighting on Many Fronts
While the battle continues inside the staid Museum Room at Ogoode Hall that has become the arena for Harry’s good character hearings, Kopyto has opened new fronts for his campaign to use his hearing to promote affordable justice. He has filed a Statement of Claim against the Law Society seeking the very same declarations that the Blight Panel refused to hear. These declarations challenge the Panel’s authority under the LSUC’s By-law 4 which eliminated more affordable paralegals from competing with lawyers in vast areas of legal practice. Harry has also applied for leave to appeal the conservative Divisional Court’s backing of Blight’s decision.
The hearing room revelations have limited resonance when the fix is already in. Blight ordered all witnesses excluded though no one ran to the exit door despite an audience made up of Harry’s character witnesses. And, oh yes, you know the judges whose negative, often virulent opinions about Harry the Blight Panel has admitted into evidence against Harry during the last hearing day? Well, Harry is in the process of issuing subpoenas to each of the four judges and three benchers to attend his good character hearing to be cross-examined by him on their attacks on him. After all, doesn’t he have a right to cross-examine his accusers?
The presence of the public to oversee the LSUC’s proceedings is especially important with witnesses testifying on the stand. It becomes more difficult for the LSUC to hide the weaknesses of their witnesses’ testimony and it became more difficult for the witnesses to give false evidence when observers are in the room. The more persons present who see the LSUC’s pretensions and manufactured evidence melt in the air, the greater the likelihood that justice may be done.
Harry is back before the Blight Panel on Wednesday November 2, 2011 at 9:30 a.m., Museum Room, Osgoode Hall. Greenaway is still on the stand. There will be blood. But it remains to be seen whose it will be. Join us.
Harry Kopyto Defence Committee