Lawyers argue perjury charges in Calgary case should be dropped

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Calgary millionaire Ken Carter had no reason to lie during a child custody battle with his ex-girlfriend, his attorney argued Friday, seeking his acquittal on perjury charges.

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Defense attorney Brian Greenspan said Carter admitted Akele Taylor would get custody of the daughter they shared, so misleading the judge assigned to their case would not have advanced his case.

And the attorney for retired Calgary police officer Steve Walton, defense attorney Alain Hepner, said there was no evidence that his client conspired with Carter to mislead the judge in charge of custody.

But Crown prosecutor Katherine Love said Carter intentionally misled Judge David Wilkins about his business relationship with Walton, whom he hired to watch Taylor.

Love told Judge David Labrenz, who is presiding over the perjury trial, that Carter’s employment of Walton was “a significant intrusion into Ms. Taylor’s life”.

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She said Carter was intentionally evasive during her testimony in 2014, to separate herself from the work Walton was doing.

“The theory is that he’s trying to distance himself from knowledge of Mr. Walton’s actions,” Love said.

“He had no idea what this person was doing?” Labrenz asked.

“Exactly,” replied the prosecutor.

Love said Carter left the impression he was unaware of the extent of the surveillance being carried out on Taylor and the investigation that Walton and other officers he had hired to work for him were conducting “while the evidence shows he knew.”

But Greenspan said Carter was candid in his testimony during his perjury trial and that the answers he gave in the previous hearing were not meant to be misleading.

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“The accusation was, in many ways, an exercise in semantics, not … proof of perjury,” he said.

Greenspan said Carter conceded that Taylor would get at least 30% custody time with their daughter, but fought back against her bid for a 50/50 split.

“It makes no sense, in the context of the custody hearing, that was (to mislead the court) his intention,” he said.

“(The Crown) cannot and has not proven that Mr. Carter lied, let alone intentionally misled the court during the custody hearing.”

Meanwhile, co-prosecutor Heather Morris said Hepner’s argument, whatever Walton said, did not change the outcome of the custody hearing, even if it was incorrect, was not what mattered.

“The only thing that matters is whether he made a false statement and intended to mislead the court,” she said.

Both men were found guilty in a separate trial of criminally harassing Taylor during months of surveillance on her, but have appealed those verdicts.

Labrenz has reserved his decision and expects to decide the case by the end of July.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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