I showed up at the BCHRT this morning only to find the hearing room already packed. They have seats for about 20 people and the media is very interested in this hearing so I had to wait in the hall most of the morning. At around 10.30 Guy Earle's lawyer, James Millar walked out of the hearing saying that since the Tribunal refused to consider their jurisdiction in this case, in light of what the Supreme Court ruled when Earle asked the case be dismissed (I'm not sure who ruled, Supreme Court of BC or Canada - I couldn't find the ruling), he was taking the professionally difficult decision to walk out. He said he would like to respect the Tribunal but had serious doubts whether this hearing was within the rule of law given that the question of jurisdiction was not considered. He gave a lengthy statement to the media - look for video by BulletproofCourier. Millar suggested he is about to ask a court for a further ruling on whether this hearing can proceed.
I did not get into the hearing until late in the morning session. The chatter in the hallway was that Lorna Pardy denied that she provoked Earle's abuse. One journalist immediately drew a parallel to the Michael Richards case. When I got a seat, Pardy was just finishing describing what happened on the night in question. She described how she had left Zezty's and went to her friend and was left feeling shocked "what just happened?"
She said she wasn't drunk and had only one and a half Coronas. She said she felt physically and verbally assaulted.
Pardy testified that the next day she went to work at YVR and contacted the restaurant owner, Mr. Ismail, by phone to see if he would take responsibility. Over the phone he offered to pay for her broken glasses but he tried to minimize the incident and raise questions of who was to blame. After work, she went to the restaurant, with a tape recorder in her pocket, and Ismail again minimized the incident and suggested Pardy was at fault. He did not pay for her glasses.
Pardy said she announced in the restaurant that Ismail condones violence against women. She then said Ismail called her a bitch.
The tape recording was allowed as evidence, though it was almost inaudible. Pardy's lawyer said while the words are not clear, the tape speaks to Pardy's tone, which was moderate. Ismail (represented by his brother) said the tape was edited to exclude a "scene" that was, apparently, more histrionic.
The hearing will resume this afternoon and I will try to have more.
See my part 1
and part 3