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May 13, 2005
Dezainde Gets Fanciful At Gomery

Winding up some of the strangest testimony yet at the Gomery Inquiry, Daniel Dezainde continued to insist that he has remained in fear of his life after being told by Joe Morselli that he was "at war" with Dezainde, prompting two visits to the RCMP. Dezainde also managed to squeeze in more complaints about Beryl Wajsman, including alleged rudeness on the golf links, although what that has to do with Adscam has everyone scratching their heads:

Four years after a nasty encounter with a threatening, finger-pointing Giuseppe (Joseph) Morselli, a Liberal official testified yesterday that even now he is still fearful of the friend of Alfonso Gagliano.

Former senior party executive Daniel Dezainde told the Gomery inquiry that he saw the RCMP last month, ahead of his testimony, to talk to the police about his safety concerns because he was still apprehensive of Mr. Morselli, a onetime party fundraiser.

"I still felt the risks that could stem from my testimony, so I went to the RCMP directly for protection," Mr. Dezainde testified.

This conversation allegedly took place in 2001, and yet Dezainde waited until 2005 to get the RCMP to give him some sort of protection. Dezainde later admitted that he had other opportunities to get the RCMP involved and failed to do so. He had been deposed twice before in the RCMP's investigation of Adscam and mentioned neither the threat nor its supposed motivation -- the Corriveau admission that a kickback scheme had been deliberately created for the Liberals to use for political gain and personal greed.

It sounds like Dezainde wanted an excuse for keeping quiet about Corriveau. He certainly took a long enough time asking for help about Morselli's alleged threat, only going to the RCMP after it became clear that he would have to testify at the Gomery Inquiry. He also included an odd anecdote about Wajsman that speaks to a more personal and bitter animosity between Dezainde and Morselli his 'protege', as Dezainde apparently described Wajsman:

A major sore spot between the two men was fundraiser, and Morselli protg, Beryl Wajsman, who was getting $5,000 a month from the party.

Mr. Wajsman was eventually fired later that year, after Mr. Dezainde accused him of conducting unreported fundraising. ...

Mr. Dezainde also said that, after the firing, at a golf fundraiser in August of 2001, Mr. Wajsman's foursome played behind his. He said each time he tried to tee off, Mr. Wajsman would shout at him.

If that is Dezainde's notion of life-threatening harassment, then Daniel Dezainde needs to get out more often. Wajsman should be testifying today or early next week, when we can expect a much different story about Dezainde and Morselli to surface. In fact, after Dezainde's testimony began, even Alfonse Gagliano wants another shot at the Gomery dock:

Former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano is asking for another chance to testify at the sponsorship inquiry, CTV News has learned.

The central figure in the sponsorship program has asked Justice Gomery to allow him to take the stand again at the inquiry looking into the sponsorship scandal.

This comes on a day in which Gagliano's former circle of associates were mentioned again during testimony in Montreal.

Does Gagliano have more to add -- or does he want to dispute Dezainde's testimony?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 13, 2005 6:28 AM

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