I caught a bit of it on video: two of his friends in Poland convincingly refuted all of their slurs. At least this time the lawyers disclosed just whom they were representing: someone might have explained to them since yesterday that keeping this from the witnesses looked a little sneaky--as indeed it was.
No, said Magda Czelwinska, Dziekanski was not a man of superhuman strength, and she had never smelled alcohol on his breath. She had never seen him agitated as he appeared to be in Vancouver. But as she put it, "[H]e was lost at the airport, he didn’t have cigarettes or water and he had quit smoking to surprise his mother."
Ryszard Krasinski, a former teacher, remembered his friend as one with whom he gardened, barbecued and played chess. They got together often for family occasions. Dziekanski had a deep knowledge of geography, he testified. During celebrations, as is the custom, they drank vodka, he said, but otherwise he had never seen Dziekanski drink often, or excessively.
Meanwhile the slightly creepy lawyer for Millington, Ravi Hira (and if you have seen the live feed, you will know just what I mean), is on a fishing expedition--he apparently wants access to Dziekanski's juvenile records, if you can believe it.
I must say I'm a little disheartened that inquiry chairman Thomas Braidwood is allowing so much latitude to the RCMP officers' lawyers to slime the man they killed. There seems a certain lack of even-handedness here. He was not nearly so generous last week, when he warned government lawyer Helen Roberts against raising a matter in Constable Millington's own past.
Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander, and if Dziekanski's life is to be made an open book, then everything about the Four Horsemen ought to be made public as well: their medical records, annual performance reviews, any possible history of alcoholism or drug abuse, relations with their neighbours and spouses, and so on. Surely their own characters are just as relevant as that of their victim--or even more so. But somehow only Dziekanski's past is considered to be of importance, as though what he might or might not have done when he was 17, or whether or not he ever visited Germany, had anything whatsoever to do with his death.
UPDATE: (April 1) Hearings were cancelled today. Tomorrow we shall hear from witnesses Robert Dylski and Aneta Czernel, by videolink from Poland.