Web of Deceit Breached
On the third day in the witness box under searing cross-examination by Harry Kopyto, the Law Society’s (LSUC’s) chief witness, Adrian Greenaway, laid a bombshell. He blew a major hole in the Law Society’s efforts to deny Harry the right to continue working as a paralegal. Greenaway admitted that Harry, disbarred in 1989 for allegedly defrauding the Ontario Legal Aid Plan, was never asked to pay the Plan back any fees that it paid him for the 643 accounts that the LSUC claimed were “overbilled”. Indeed, all his legal accounts “frozen” during and after the disbarment were settled and paid as valid accounts. This admission reveals that the only fraud committed was by the LSUC itself in disbarring Harry.
Greenaway’s admission is the ultimate vindication of Harry’s character and exposes in the starkest terms the phony frame-up of Kopyto on trumped-up charges. It also vindicates Bencher Tom Carey who courageously backed Harry Kopyto at that time against his colleagues in the first written dissent in the LSUC’s 200-year history. As well, it shows why then Attorney-General Ian Scott refused to respond to Harry’s public letter challenging him to lay criminal charges.
Investigator Greenaway’s admissions are critical. Ultimately, the case against Harry’s good character rests on his disbarment for allegedly overbilling Legal Aid. But there can be no fraud without deprivation. And so the skein of lies against Harry’s good character continues to unravel as the blinding truth shimmers into the dark recesses of Osgoode Hall where Harry’s good character hearing is scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. in the Museum Room on Friday November 11, 2011.
Chief Investigator Greenaway has already breached the web of deceit spun by LSUC detractors during earlier testimony when he admitted admiring Harry’s commitment to justice.
On November 2, 2011, Greenaway went even further. When asked if he was aware of any misdeeds by Harry during 22 years of appearing as a paralegal in criminal, family or small claims court trials and motions, Greenaway unreservedly said “No.” This admission struck a deadly blow against the LSUC’s campaign to paint Harry as dishonest. Greenaway also took issue with statements relied on by the Society that Harry believes that the legal system was corrupt. He disagreed that Harry wanted “to tear down and smash” the legal system, which was one of the accusations of the LSUC Panel that recommended Harry’s disbarment in 1989. He described Harry again as a sincere and persistent fighter for his clients’ rights. He even admitted that if Harry were “pervasively dishonest,” as the LSUC charges, his record in court appearances would have been strewn with findings of improprieties.
Greenaway a Man on a Tightrope
Greenaway’s concessions about Harry’s character were not made lightly. He is a man on a tightrope. Greenaway is attempting to deflect Harry’s charge that his investigation was biased from the start with admissions that Greenaway could not avoid making in any event. He still characterized Harry’s efforts to refute false allegations of dishonesty in the media as efforts to distance himself from his bad character. He still attacked Harry for showing no remorse and maintained his accusation that Harry would not co-operate with him in the investigation of his character. That said, he also reaffirmed the bias against Harry by admitting that the decision to recommend a good character hearing–the ostensible purpose of the investigation–was made even before the investigation started.
Shaking it Rough
Law Society Chief Counsel, Susan Heakes, repeatedly tried to protect Greenaway from Kopyto’s penetrating cross-examination with objections that were largely over-ruled. Although championing the exclusion of witnesses from hearing evidence that might influence them, she made sure that Greenaway was present when she formulated her objections. Heakes also accused Harry of intentionally delaying the hearings for his own benefit as she does at every opportunity she can. She went on to plead with the Panel to set additional dates for Harry’s hearings (she didn’t have to try too hard) which the LSUC waited two whole years to initiate. Clearly, she falls within the definition of being “savvy” which the LSUC shamelessly advertises as one of the requirements for its senior staff. Still, despite Heake’s efforts, Greenaway still is shaking it rough as Harry heads into another full day of cross-examining him on Friday November 11, 2011.
The well-oiled LSUC machine, with its fearsome armada of lawyers, investigators, bureaucrats, media experts, image makers, point persons and careerists (500 employees in number and a budget of tens of millions of dollars) is not used to anyone standing up to them. Lawyers usually shudder at the mention of the LSUC which they know plays the game with a stacked deck.
The LSUC is Big Law incarnate functioning at the intersection of Big Business and Establishment Politics. It is the elitist master of a profession that operates the legal institutions that grind the faces of the weak and poor into the dirt for the benefit of the powers that be. Obedience to rules (their rules) is their functional definition of good character. Refusal to fit in is anathema to their credo.
Yet Harry is not backing down. He is putting their own character on trial in his good character hearing. As they judge him, so too he puts them on trial to be judged by their own hypocritical standards as well in the eyes of the public.
Those eyes are what the LSUC usually shields itself from when it engages in the devious machinations against those who dare to challenge them. But in Harry’s case, dozens of observers continue to be present at each one of his multiple hearings as active witnesses. Their presence inhibits the LSUC as it attempts to act as Harry’s prosecutor, judge, jury and professional hangman all at the same time. Those eyes of public scrutiny are still essential as Harry steps into the arena when the hearing resumes this Friday November 11, 2011.
Harry Kopyto Defence Committee