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Anne McLellan   Letter 21   05-Oct-1999   Requests to Prosecute and to Alert
"Even if only a single false denouncer spent only a single year in prison, the resulting deterrence of public mischief might prevent a great deal of the pain and suffering that such criminal activity has been inflicting on Canadians in recent years." Lubomyr Prytulak
October 05, 1999

The Honourable Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Room 360, Justice Building
239 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

E-mail: [email protected]

Anne McLellan:

Two Requests

In the course of the Deschênes Commission, hundreds of individuals were subjected to police investigation on the basis of unfounded denunciations.  Concerning these events, the present letter makes two requests.  First, that the Canadian Government review the denunciations, and lay charges of Public Mischief, or whatever charges may seem more appropriate, against the most irresponsible of them.  Second, that the Canadian Government alert the denounced to the fact of their having been denounced and investigated.

(1) Please Lay Charges of Public Mischief

You can find my elaboration of reasons for laying charges of Public Mischief in my letter to Sol Littman of 25Sep99, a copy of which I have enclosed.  The chief reason, in brief, is that the Deschênes Commission consisted mostly of a body of officials spending their time sheltering from a downpour of groundless denunciations such as the following two:

CASE NO. 247.  This individual was brought to the attention of the Commission by the Canadian Jewish Congress, whose source of information was a private citizen.  There was no specific allegation of involvement in war crimes made against the individual.  [...]  The Commission was advised by the German Military Service Office [...] that it had a record of a person with the same name as the subject, which indicated that he was a pilot in the Allied Air Force and had been taken prisoner by the Germans.

CASE NO. 561.  This individual was brought to the attention of the Commission by the RCMP, whose source of information was the Canadian Jewish Congress.  It was alleged that the subject was responsible for the deaths of "hundreds of Jews."  No specific evidence of the alleged war crimes was provided.  [...]  Records of the Department of Employment and Immigration [...] indicate that the subject was born in 1941 [...].

There exists more than one Canadian who does not understand why irresponsible denunciations such as the above should not be subject to criminal sanction under such laws as the one below:

PUBLIC MISCHIEF / Punishment

140. (1) Every one commits public mischief who, with intent to mislead, causes a peace officer to enter on or continue an investigation by
   (a) making a false statement that accuses some other person of having committed an offence;
   (b) doing anything intended to cause some other person to be suspected of having committed an offence that the other person has not committed, or to divert suspicion from himself;
   (c) reporting that an offence has been committed when it has not been committed; or
   (d) reporting or in any other way making it known or causing it to be made known that he or some other person has died when he or that other person has not died.
(2) Every one who commits public mischief
   (a) is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
   (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Even if only a single false denouncer spent only a single year in prison, the resulting deterrence of public mischief might prevent a great deal of the pain and suffering that such criminal activity has been inflicting on Canadians in recent years.

(2) Please Alert the Denounced

From the Deschênes Commission public report, it would appear that the bulk of those who were denounced and investigated were never informed:

In 96 per cent of the cases which the Commission has investigated, it has not communicated with the suspects.  The latter have not been made aware of the Commission's interest.  There is no reason to alert now, especially, the 606 people, or their successors, whose files the Commission recommends should be closed.
Jules Deschênes, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, 1986, p. 827

However, in cases where the denunciation is gratuitous, it may constitute an expression of malice toward the denounced, and the Government may be obligated to alert the denounced so that he may be aware of the malice which is active against him, and so that he may be better able to protect himself from it in the future.  You can read my elaboration of this argument in my letter to Sol Littman of 05Oct99, which I have enclosed.



Lubomyr Prytulak

cc: Sol Littman


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