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Perjury trial in Dziekanski case delayed amid search for materials

Former RCMP Cpl. Benjamin (Monty) Robinson leaves B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, B.C., on Friday July 20, 2012 after his sentencing hearing for an obstruction of justice conviction was adjourned until July 27. Robinson, whose involvement in the Robert Dziekanski case and an unrelated conviction in a fatal accident made him an example of the bad apples the RCMP has been unable to fire, has voluntarily left the force.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The perjury trial for the senior Mountie involved in Robert Dziekanski's death at Vancouver's airport has been delayed, less than a week before jury selection was set to begin.

Former corporal Benjamin (Monty) Robinson was scheduled to stand trial in mid-November to face charges that he lied during a public inquiry into Mr. Dziekanski's death. Jury selection was scheduled to start next Tuesday.

But Crown counsel Tony Paisana told a pre-trial conference on Wednesday that prosecutors have been unable to locate materials requested by the defence. Mr. Paisana did not detail what those materials were, and outside court he declined comment.

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Mr. Paisana asked that the jury selection and trial be cancelled, with another pre-trial conference scheduled in a month to provide an update. Judge Nathan Smith granted the request.

It wasn't clear when the case will proceed to trial.

Mr. Robinson was among the four RCMP officers who confronted Mr. Dziekanski at the airport in October, 2007, the night the would-be Polish immigrant was stunned by a taser and died.

All four officers were later charged with perjury for their testimony at the public inquiry into Mr. Dziekanski's death, particularly when they explained alleged discrepancies between an amateur video of the incident and what they had originally said in their statements and police notes.

Constable Bill Bentley was acquitted of perjury earlier this year, though the Crown is appealing that acquittal.

Trials for two other RCMP officers – Constable Kwesi Millington and Constable Gerry Rundel – are scheduled for early next year.

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