Thursday, March 15, 2012


This trial continues to get more interesting. What I fail to understand is why the matter took so long to come to trial, especially where the seems to be so much evidence  presented. I think that point should be better explained by the press, as it is said "justice delayed is justice denied". Kudos to the Ottawa Citizen for thoroughly reporting on thsi important trial.

Wiretapped phone conversations played at Ottawa immigration fraud trial

OTTAWA — A one-time Citizenship and Immigration Canada supervisor accused of fast-tracking permanent residency applications for cash and gifts was recorded on a police wiretap counselling a man to lie and to pretend to be his brother in order to pick up the government card.
The taped phone call between Diane Serre and Issam Dakik was played in court Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege Dakik was the go-between who took money from immigrants before contacting Serre, who would use her influence as a manager at the Catherine Street immigration office to get their applications processed faster.
Serre, 41, has pleaded not guilty to 28 charges, including fraud upon the government, breach of trust by a public official and bribery.
On the recorded phone call from December 2004, the two appear to be discussing the case of one of Dakik’s clients, John Khouri, whose brother needed his permanent resident card but wasn’t in the country to pick it up, as required by immigration rules.
“He should pretend that he’s him when I call back,” Serre tells Dakik on the call.
Two minutes later, Dakik was recorded on another wiretapped call telling Khouri that was what he should do.
Dakik, who has already served prison time for his role in the scheme, has been declared an adverse witness and is being cross-examined by the Crown.
Dakik has been on the witness stand for three days, his testimony tedious at the best of times.
On Wednesday, prosecutor Mike Boyce would frequently present Dakik with a tape recorded phone call and ask questions about what Dakik meant during the conversation, only to have Dakik conclude he either didn’t remember or it was only “possible” that Boyce’s suggestions were accurate.
That was the case when Dakik was confronted by Boyce with another phone call where Dakik puts Khouri on hold while he seems to consult with a “lawyer” about Khouri’s case.
Dakik conceded it was “possible” he actually consulted with Serre during the calls.
However, Dakik never wavered on who his contact was at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
“She was my source at all times,” Dakik said of Serre. “She is my only contact at immigration.”
The trial continues.

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