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British Columbia Prosecutors appeal Mountie’s acquittal on perjury charges

RCMP Constable Bill Bentley leaves court after the second day of his perjury trial in Vancouver on June 11, 2013.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The Crown has filed an appeal in a case that saw an RCMP officer acquitted of perjury charges for his testimony at the Robert Dziekanski inquiry.

Constable Bill Bentley was among four officers who confronted Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport in October 2007, when the Polish immigrant was repeatedly stunned with a Taser and died.

All four officers were charged with perjury for their testimony at a subsequent public inquiry, where they were asked to explain discrepancies between what they told investigators and what could be seen on an amateur video that emerged later.

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The Crown argued at Bentley's trial that similarities between all four officers' notes and statements was evidence they colluded on a fabricated story and then lied at the public inquiry to cover up that collusion.

But the judge found Bentley not guilty after concluding there were other, innocent explanations for the discrepancies, while also questioning whether some of the alleged errors were even incorrect in the first place.

The special prosecutor in the case, Richard Peck, has filed a notice of appeal, arguing the trial judge failed to consider all of the evidence and failed to apply the correct legal test when determining whether the Crown proved its case.

All four officers were charged with perjury, with jury trials currently scheduled for the other officers in mid-October, November and January.

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