Oppal’s Report Criticizes a Public Interest Lawyer

In the report of a recent public inquiry into the case of mass murderer Picket, the commissioner of the inquiry, Wally Oppal, condemned one of the lawyers representing the victimized families of the missing women. Oppal stated that Cameron Ward alleged the police of conspiring and a cover-up without presenting evidence to support his claims.

The report submitted by Oppal reads that “these allegations are completely unsupported and unsubstantiated by any evidence and there is no air of reality to them, even as a theory,” He claims that “I am not even clear on what theory Mr. Ward is purporting to advance. I am sympathetic with the [Vancouver Police Department’s] submissions that Mr. Ward’s position is ludicrous, flippant, unsupported by evidence and unprofessional. His comments are reckless.”

On the other hand, Ward’s co-counselor of the inquiry, Neil Chantler, alleged that Oppal’s accusations are “ironic.” He alleged that “the only person the commissioner makes an effort to find personally responsible of any misconduct in this report is the lawyer for the families,” and “he doesn’t find any police officers to have been personally responsible for failures in the missing women investigation, but he goes out of his way to criticize the conduct of a lawyer for the families, who had a very difficult job in very unbalanced circumstances.” The president of British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, BCCLA, Lindsay Lyster said in a statement that “Cameron Ward and his associates worked as hard as anyone else at this inquiry to get to the bottom of why the [Robert] Pickton investigation was such a disaster.” She added that “there were many actors to be scrutinized in this inquiry whose conduct was worthy of questions about professionalism.”

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