Spouse of shooter in Nova Scotia will not be cross-examined | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning
Lisa Banfield in Provincial Court in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia on March 9, 2022
Spouse of Nova Scotia shooting shooter will testify in mid-July at public inquiry, but will not face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families .
Lisa Banfield, on the advice of her attorneys, initially refused to speak under oath at the hearings into the 22 murders committed by her husband on the 18 and April 19, 2020.
However, she changed her mind after a criminal charge against her for supplying the killer with ammunition was referred to restorative justice.
The commission conducting the public inquiry said in a statement Thursday that due to Ms Banfield's status as a survivor of the perpetrator's violence, only the x27; commission counsel will ask him questions when he appears on July 15.
Josh Bryson, attorney for the family of victims Peter and Joy Bond, says his clients are losing faith in the credibility of the investigation.
The attorney Josh Bryson, representing victims Joy and Peter Bond, speaks to the media during a break from Mass Loss Commission hearings, May 25, 2022 in Truro, Nova Scotia.
Mr. Bryson says the families' lawyers were polite and respectful throughout the hearings, adding that it is frustrating to be denied the opportunity to ask key witnesses direct questions.
Cross-examination can make or break a witness's evidence. You are testing the evidence in a meaningful way with trauma in mind, he argued in an interview Thursday.
The commission also refused to allow cross-examination of Staff Sergeant Brian Rehill and Master Sergeant Andy O'Brien, who were the first managers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ( RCMP) to oversee the response to the shooting.
Emily Hill, lead counsel for the commission, said participating attorneys can submit their questions in advance and can provide follow-up questions to commission counsel to ask on the single day set aside to hear from Ms. Banfield.
Lisa Banfield (second from left) outside Dartmouth Provincial Court (Archives)
Ms Banfield could provide additional information about personal history and state of health. x27;mind of the killer and these elements could be central to the commission's mandate to examine the role of gender-based and domestic violence in the actions of the killer.
According to what was told at the inquest, she was the last person with the shooter before he launched his murderous run. The killer allegedly assaulted her and locked her in a car, but she managed to escape. She fled into the woods and hid before emerging the next morning and telling police the shooter was driving a replica RCMP vehicle.
The RCMP said at the outset that Ms Banfield was unaware of her spouse's intentions when she provided him with ammunition, but the federal police carried charges alleging that she, her brother and brother-in-law illegally transferred ammunition to the killer.
At a Thursday morning briefing , the commission confirmed that senior RCMP officers, including Superintendents Darren Campbell and Superintendent Chris Leather, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman and Commissioner Brenda Lucki, will testify in July and August, under oath and with cross-examination. p>