In his Statement of Claim filed in Barrie, Ontario Canada, Donald Best alleges that on January 15, 2010, he was convicted of ‘Civil contempt of Court’ in absentia (in his absence) and sentenced to prison on the basis of false evidence presented to the Court by lawyers, including defendants Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.
Among other falsehoods, the lawyers assured the Judge that Donald Best had told them during a November 17, 2009 phone call that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009.
Unbeknownst to the lawyers, Mr. Best had secretly recorded his phone call with them.
Compare what you hear in the November 17, 2009 secret telephone call recording with what the lawyers told the Court on December 2, 2009, both orally and in their written ‘Statement for the Record’.
What the Lawyers told the Court about the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best
On December 2, 2009, the lawyers informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best said during their November 17, 2009 phone call with him that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009:
From the ‘Statement for the Record’ that Ranking / Silver provided to the Court:
MS. RUBIN: Just to be fair to Mr. Best, my notes say that he indicated that he hadn’t received a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s November 2nd order, and that he had asked for a copy to be sent to him.
MR. SILVER: I don’t think that is right, actually. I think he said that he got it for the first time last night.
MR. RANKING: Well, I don’t want to really get into… my recollection is similar to Mr. Silver’s, that he, indeed, indicated that he had obtained the court order, and that he, in fact, called the trial coordinator to find out about the material.
(See page 12 of the Ranking / Silver ‘Statement for the Record’ PDF 1.7mb)
Ranking / Silver submissions to the Court, December 2, 2009
On December 1, 2009, Donald Best wrote to the Court and to the lawyers, accusing the lawyers of lying in their ‘Statement for the Record’. Mr. Best’s December 1, 2009 letters are here. (PDF 627kb)
In Court on December 2, 2009, the lawyers rejected Mr. Best’s version of events as detailed in his December 1, 2009 letters, calling his version of the November 17, 2009 phone call ‘defamatory’:
Ranking: We can’t find Mr. Best and it’s one of those invidious, and I don’t use that word lightly, situations where Mr. Best at his will can write to counsel, can make frankly defamatory remarks about Mr. Silver and I to the court without any affidavit evidence, and yet hide away somewhere and yet then expect us to jump over hoops and bring motions and keep corning back and bothering this court and your valuable time, which is indeed, as I say in my respectful submission, invidious.
December 2, 2009 official court transcript, pages 4/5
After receiving Donald Best’s December 1, 2009 letters containing Mr. Best’s version of the November 17, 2009 phone call, the lawyers assured the court that they rejected Mr. Best’s version of the call. The lawyers didn’t know that Mr. Best had secretly recorded the telephone call, and that Best’s ‘version’ of events was backed up with an accurate voice recording:
Ranking: it goes without saying that we (Mr. Silver, Mr. Ranking and Ms. Clarke) categorically reject Mr. Best’s version of events that day.
December 2, 2009 official court transcript, page 41
What Really was said during the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best
What did Donald Best really say during the November 17, 2009 call?
As claimed to the Court by lawyers Ranking and Silver, did Donald Best state that he had received a copy of the judge’s order?
Listen to the secret November 17, 2009 recording, read the certified transcript of the recording and then decide for yourself. Here are some excerpts from the certified transcript of the secret recording:
Ranking: The judge ordered you to attend. You have a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s order dated November the 2nd?
Best: I do not Sir.
Ranking: Pray tell, how did you …
Best: I do not. As a matter of fact, the court reporter told me yesterday that there’s all sorts of documents I don’t have, and..
(Page 4 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 6:55) Read more