Wednesday March 27, 2019
By Joanne Schnurr
Const. Daniel Montsion, centre, leaves the Ottawa courthouse alongside his legal team and Ottawa Police Association president Matt Skof, left, on Feb. 4, 2019. (Judy Trinh/CBC)
An Ottawa judge has agreed to hear arguments from Constable Daniel Montsion’s Defence team as to why the manslaughter trial should be halted.The teenager, who was 16 at the time, recalls hearing Somali words as well
At the same time, Justice Robert Kelly dismissed the Crown's attempt to quash those arguments. This was a victory for Montsion's lawyers who have argued that Montsion's right to a fair trial has been compromised. The judge though said he will decide on that Charter application at a later date. And today witness testimony continued with a teen who lived in Abdi's building. From his bedroom window early that Sunday morning in 2016, a young man heard what he described as "yelling, tires screeching and police dialogue," he told court.
“Help me" and "oh God," he said and he told the Crown Prosecutors he recognized the voice as that of 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi. He saw officers and a body on the ground as he peered out and then grabbed his phone and headed down the stairs, recording the event in 14 different videos.
"He's handcuffed, body on the ground, with a puffed up face and bleeding from the nose and mouth" he told court. "What I assumed was he was dead at the time".
The Defence, in its cross examination asked the teen:
"You believe you know who was responsible for his death. The Ottawa Police right?" Criminal Defence Lawyer Solomon Friedman asked.
"Correct," he replied.
"They killed Mr. Abdi and you believe what they did was wrong," Friedman continued.
"Correct. The amount of force used was improper," agreeing with Friedman that he wanted justice for Abdi.
Court also heard today that Justice Robert Kelly will hear Constable Daniel Montsion’s Charter application to stay the proceedings or have video and witnesses excluded.
Montsion’s defence team is charging that the Special Investigations Unit was negligent in its handling of key video from 55 Hilda.
"I am satisfied the Defence has identified the basis in fact and law on which its proposed Charter application could proceed" Justice Kelly told court.
He also dismissed the Crown's attempt to have the Charter application quashed. Justice Kelly said he will hear, at the close of the Crown's case or perhaps at the end of the trial, whether he should rule on the Charter application.