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Crime

Perjury charge dropped against Calgary police union president Sgt. Les Kaminski

WATCH: The president of Calgary's police union has been cleared of all criminal charges. The final charge of perjury was withdrawn in court on Monday. Nancy Hixt reports.

Calgary Police Association president Sgt. Les Kaminski said Monday his faith in the legal system has been reaffirmed.

A charge of perjury against Kaminski was withdrawn by the Crown Monday morning in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary. 

“I feel very grateful today,” Kaminski said outside of court. “I knew in my heart…that the right thing would happen.”

READ MORE: Charges laid against new Calgary Police Association president and another CPS officer

Kaminski was originally charged on Jan. 17, 2017.

A single count of assault with a weapon was withdrawn on July 17, 2017.

He has now been cleared of all criminal charges.

The case stemmed from an Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigation. At the time, ASIRT charged Kaminski and a second officer, Cst. Brant Derrick, in relation to the arrest of Jason Arkinstall, who was wearing a Hells Angels T-shirt at the time.

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Derrick was found not guilty of all charges last December.

Kaminski’s defence lawyer Alain Hepner said Monday’s decision is huge for his client.

“Any time a police officer is charged with any offence it’s stressful, let alone an offence alleging perjury at a trial,” Hepner said.

Kaminksi said this has been a very stressful year, and he’s happy to have this behind him.

“I’m very grateful that all the facts were put on the table and I received a fair review,” Kaminski said.

Late Monday afternoon, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) sent a statement to Global News about the developments.

“Although I do not have the full details of the decision, I fully support the Crown Prosecution Service and their judgment to withdraw charges against CPA President Les Kaminski,” said Mike Nunn, acting manager with CPS’ Strategic Communications Section.

“As with a member of public, when an officer is charged with an offence they have the right to a presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise in court. I fully respect the judicial process and am pleased for the officers and members of the Service that these charges have been withdrawn.”

On Tuesday, ASIRT sent Global News a statement regarding the Kaminski case that reads, in part:

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“Although there was evidence capable of providing reasonable grounds to believe that an offence or offences had been committed, the Crown has now come to the conclusion that the case no longer meets the standard for prosecution, as it is entitled to do,” Susan Hughson, ASIRT’s executive director, said in the statement.

Alberta Justice also sent Global News a statement about the case on Tuesday.

“The decision to withdraw the charge in no way reflects the work of ASIRT,” Eric Tolppanen, Assistant Deputy Minister, Alberta Crown Prosecution Service said.
“The Crown’s decision was made as part of continuing to evaluate the evidence in light of the prosecution standard of ‘reasonable likelihood of conviction.'”

“The case continued to evolve after the initial decision was made to lay charges against the accused,” Tolppanen added.

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