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Richard Wolson

Richard Wolson on Breaches of Duty: The Case of Thomas Sophonow – Winnipeg

“On March 12, 1982, two Winnipeg Police officers travelled to Vancouver to interview Sophonow. He was interrogated five times over four hours. While the officers claimed to have taken verbatim notes, it was clear that this was not the case. On critical points their notes were significantly different.

“During the interview, police-strip searched Sophonow and searched his anal cavity to determine whether he was carrying drugs. There was no possible reason for this — the officer who met with him on March 3rd did not consider him to be a physical threat at any point. He was never challenging or threatening to the officers during the March 12th interview. Moreover, he was patted down prior to the commencement of the interview. In the interview, police purported that Sophonow made statements that were indicative of guilt. Tom Sophonow testified at the Inquiry that at no time did he make such statements. Tom Sophonow was arrested, brought back to Winnipeg and was charged with murder.”

Excerpt from Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers
© Durance Vile Publications Ltd., 2014