APTN National News
On day three of suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau’s assault and sexual assault trial, the defence tried to paint an alternate version of events where the fallen Algonquin politician was the victim of an aggressive woman who didn’t want to him to leave her.
The Gatineau, Que., trial, which resumes April 2, ended on the subject of the fake Mexican passports Brazeau’s alleged victim said she used to get into Canada along with her children in 2008. Brazeau’s lawyer Gerard Larocque told the court he would be contacting Immigration and Citizenship Canada on the subject after he put the alleged victim through detailed questioning about the forged documents.
Larocque, however, spent most of Wednesday searching for weak-points in the woman’s version of events of that Feb. 7, 2013. He also methodically constructed an alternate scenario wherein it was the alleged victim who attacked Brazeau.
Again, and again Larocque returned to the opening moments of the physical aspects of the incident which occurred on the third floor between a bathroom in the master bedroom, the master bedroom and on the landing above the stairs leading down to the second floor.
Larocque played a video from the alleged victim’s interrogation by police. In it the woman said she heard Brazeau phone somebody, she didn’t know who, before the 911 call and while she was changing in the bathroom.
The alleged victim said in the courtroom she could not recall Brazeau’s phone call, but acknowledged she mentioned it in the video.
Larocque said the alleged victim was saying she forgot that call because an admission in the courtroom would have been favorable to Brazeau.
“The moment he spoke on the phone, you were both in the bedroom. You hit Mr. Brazeau with your hand and with the bra and after that Mr. Brazeau got away from you, (he) grabbed the phone and said, ‘it’s finished,’” said Larocque.
“Completely false,” she said.
“I submit, you are realizing that when I say Mr. Brazeau called, from your point of view it wouldn’t be favorable the circumstances I present,” said Larocque.
“I don’t understand,” she said.
Quebec Judge Valmont Beaulieu then intervened and rephrased the question.
“The fact you don’t remember, when it’s suggested you hit him, and your answer is you don’t remember, is it because it’s favorable to Brazeau?” said Beaulieu.
“I never hit him upstairs, I didn’t hit him,” she said.
Larocque then moved on, trying to poke holes in her recollection of that winter Thursday morning in 2013. He pressed her on what time she got up to make breakfast for the children in the house and what Brazeau was wearing when he came down to the kitchen to drive the children home to school. He also questioned her on whether Brazeau ironed his shirt and whether he was wearing a coat when he came back from dropping off the children.
Then Larocque returned to the part about the master bedroom and how the woman claimed she ended up sitting, facing the bottom of the stairs with Brazeau behind her, demanding that she leave the house immediately. He managed to trap the alleged victim after he compared what she said on her first day of testimony about how a plant in a pot got knocked on the floor. The victim initially said she fell on the plant, but on Wednesday claimed she didn’t remember how the plant tumbled.
The woman, however, stuck to her story that she fell on the floor sitting down after Brazeau pushed her out of the bedroom. She also repeated she didn’t know how the plant fell, only that it did in the tumult.
“It’s not compatible with the manner in which you were pushed to fall on a plant in front of you,” said Larocque.
“My body was leaning back because I was resisting his push forward,” she said.
“So when he pushed you, you were leaning back?” said Larocque.
“Some moments I was inclined to the front when he pushed forward and at other times leaning back,” she said.
“But when you were pushed, there was no rotation?” he said.
“All I know is that I fell on the first landing (at the top of the stairs), I don’t know about rotations,” she said.
“I would suggest something simpler to explain your fall on the plant. When he wanted to leave the room you were preventing him from leaving, you were agitated. He was leaving and you didn’t’ want him to leave,” said Larocque.
“That’s false,” she said.
“You wanted to talk to him, you didn’t want to leave,” he said.
“False,” she said.
“You were in the doorframe, hanging onto the doorframe with hands (spread) like a cross,” said Larocque.
“It’s false,” she said.
After a couple more questions on the topic, Larocque switched to the forged Mexican passports, which the woman brought to the court and were submitted as evidence. He then went through the names and birthplaces in the passports, asking if she knew they were false.
“You know it’s a crime (to use false passports)?” said Larocque.
“I know that my life and the lives of my children were in danger,” she said.
When asked later by reporters what he thought of Larocque’s line of questioning on the fake Mexican passport, Crown prosecutor Sylvain Petitclerc said the defence lawyer was playing “little games.”