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USA UK and Malta News
20/11/2007 - 23:57

Criminal charges possible over Canada airport Taser death

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canada's Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day on Tuesday said four federal police officers face possible criminal charges in the death of a Polish migrant zapped with a stun gun at the Vancouver airport last month.



"This is a very serious incident that has taken place, and there are a number of investigations that are going on to get to the bottom of it," Day told reporters.

Once such Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) "investigation will include the possibility of criminal charges," he said, citing the lead investigator in the case.

"If there is culpability to be assessed, it will be done."

Robert Dziekanski, 40, died on October 14 after being shocked repeatedly by policemen with a Taser stun gun only 60 seconds after they first approached him at the Vancouver airport in westernmost Canada.

A bystander's video released last week showed four officers then piled on top of the distraught traveler as he lay writhing and screaming in pain on the floor, and within minutes he fell still.

British Columbia province announced a public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. The coroner, the federal police homicide team, Canada's national police complaint's commissioner also launched independent probes of his death.

Day has also ordered a review of the use of Tasers in Canada.

Meanwhile, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell publicly apologized Monday to Dziekanski's mother.

"I'm glad to apologize for what took place," said Campbell. "That was something that was devastating to her in more ways than I can even begin to imagine.

"I'm glad to apologize on behalf of people in British Columbia for what took place."

Dziekanski had traveled to the Pacific Coast province to live with his mother, but a mix-up at the airport forced him to wait for her for almost 10 hours in a secure area, while she waited for him on the other side of a wall in the arrivals area.

According to the family's lawyer, Dziekanski spoke only Polish, and had never before traveled far from his home town of Pieszyce, Poland.

Police were called to the Vancouver airport after Dziekanski blocked a security door with chairs and a table, and threw a computer off a counter onto the floor.

H.V/YahooNews










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