Friday, April 28, 2006

Metis National Council Secretariat versus W. Yvon Dumont - all for naught?

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

After five days of testimony the trial is over! Justice Menzies reserved his decision meaning he will call both Parties back to Court to advise them of his ruling probably in a couple days. Highlights:

(1) For me it was Day 3 when Mr. Dumont took the stand and was masterfully direct examined by Defence attorney Jeffrey J. Niederhoffer. But one example - Manitoba's former Lieutenant Governor talked of the many fundraisers with which he has been involved over the years helping out of town Metis cancer patients come to Winnipeg for treatment. You couldn't help but be moved and think, "After all this man has done for his people and Nation they're putting his family and him through this?" SHAME! As strange as it may seem, Counselor Trachtenberg never once jumped to his feet to object to anything said by witness Dumont whose testimony lasted close to two hours

(2) Today's closing arguments. On at least two occasions Mr. Trachtenberg got into a protracted legal sparring match with His Lordship who expressed the view:

(i) None of the witnesses has clearly demonstrated how Mr. Dumont by his actions caused irreversible, irrevocable and irreparable damage to the MNCS

(ii) The Metis National Council Secretariat could have appointed a new Metis Nation Governor anytime after Yvon Dumont departed. The fact it has chosen not to has nothing whatsoever to do with the Defendant's past actions as alleged by the Plaintiffs

(iii) A complaint could easily have been filed with former MMF Chief Electoral Officer retired provincial judge Alvin Hamilton challenging Yvon Dumont's candidacy in 2003. It was never done

The courtroom presence of both sides was markedly different. While Mr. Trachtenberg was often aggressive, strident and pointed, by contrast the Defence was always low key, unassuming and respectful - but very effective. Perhaps lead Counsel Anders Bruun summed it up best in his closing arguments, "This case should not have been brought to court and can't be won."

Counsel and Plaintiffs should go to bed this evening significantly worried.

Clare L. Pieuk


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