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Former Mountie in Dziekanski death settles lawsuit

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 16 Jan, 2021
  • Former Mountie in Dziekanski death settles lawsuit

A lawyer for a former RCMP officer convicted of perjury after the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport says his client has settled a lawsuit against the federal and B.C. governments.

Sebastien Anderson says Kwesi Millington reached an agreement this week after suing the federal and provincial government for damages, claiming he acted in accordance with his RCMP training.

A public inquiry heard that Dziekanski, who died at the airport's arrivals area, was jolted numerous times with a Taser seconds after Millington and three other officers approached him.

Millington and his senior officer, Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were later convicted and handed prison time by the B.C. Supreme Court for colluding to make up testimony at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death.

Anderson says strict confidentiality provisions prevent him from discussing most of the settlement's details.

The RCMP said in a statement that the matter had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, while the B.C. government says it wasn't a party to the settlement and the federal government referred questions back to the RCMP.

Millington's lawsuit filed in 2019 said the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team found he and the other RCMP officers acted in accordance with their training.

The statement of claim said an RCMP use of force instructor who trained Millington testified during the public inquiry that the officers' actions were consistent with training.

Millington's lawsuit said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, nervous shock, loss of career advancement and other injuries.

Anderson says he is able to disclose that part of the settlement agreement includes a letter from the RCMP in support of Millington's bid for a pardon, which would wipe out his criminal conviction.

"Part of that is because all of their internal reports with respect to Mr. Dziekanski's unfortunate death was that they all acted within the scope of their training at that time," he said.

The RCMP was asked about the letter Friday but didn't comment.

Anderson said Millington has served his sentence and is living in Canada but not in B.C.

"He's taken courses and has become a resilience coach," said Anderson. "He's published a book and he's hoping to help others who go through traumatic experiences like he has, and suffered PTSD, to cope and return to somewhat of a normal life."

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