Gas Busters Part 82: Appeal of Livingston Conviction and Sentence Filed

Everyone watching the Ontario Liberal gas plant scandal criminal trial knew it was coming, but the appeal, filed about four hours after the sentence, did arrive quickly.

Livingston’s appeal, which is posted below, seems to me to be so weak that I wonder if the lawyers are selling a whiff of hope to their client simply to run up more fees.

Much of the appeal hangs on the error of the Crown prosecutors that allowed the defence to get the computer forensics evidence thrown out. Livingston’s lawyers want to reargue their fanciful claim that there was nothing on those computers in the Premier’s Office that Livingston wiped that related to the gas plants and that needed to be retained — only personal and political email, and of course sports pool results, photos of pets, and video games. Warren Kinsella is propounding such theories on his blog here. Sometimes lawyers say the craziest things. (Mr. Kinsella and I exchange comments yesterday on Twitter when I drew to his attention previous remarks he made running down the OPP in this case as “incompetent and unethical”, an assessment that I suggest is the opposite of true.)

Livingston’s lawyers also seek to revive a theory they pressed during the trial involving a witness the Crown had listed to call but then didn’t call — Steen Hume. Lipson’s conviction dealt pretty thoroughly with the evidence that had any connection to Hume I thought.

On the sentence, one claim Livingston’s lawyers make is that Justice Lipson disregarded evidence of prior good character. That’s just silly. In the decision, Lipson addressed that topic at length.

Notice of Appeal – J. David LIVINGSTON