Evidence in review stage
RCMP pass report through channels

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 29/99) - The investigative report detailing the events of the night that Mathew Petooloosie was picked up by RCMP Const. Colin Allooloo is now complete.

Sgt. Luther Cutts of the G Division's commercial crime unit said that he had finished collecting all the evidence, had written the report and was about to pass it on to his supervisor.

"My report is almost done. I have to submit it through the channels. It will go to my supervisor and then go to the criminal operations officer in the G Division and then over to Nunavut."

Cutts, who couldn't comment on the evidence in the report or on the report itself, said his role was simply to conduct the criminal investigation and to offer analysis on the evidence when required. He said it was not his place to offer any sort of interpretation into the guilt or innocence of Allooloo.

Cutts, and his co-worker Cpl. Darcy Fleury, became involved in the matter about 10 days after Allooloo allegedly assaulted Petooloosie -- a prisoner in police cells at the time.

Insp. Dan Fudge of Nunavut's soon-to-be V Division explained that Petooloosie was checked into the police cells for an overnight stay after the RCMP responded to a call from a residence involving the 23-year-old man.

"They were called to an incident that involved Mr. Petooloosie. I'm not prepared to comment on that any further," said Fudge.

After he was released from police custody the next morning, Petooloosie was forced to undergo emergency surgery to repair his ruptured bladder.

He has since alleged that his injury was caused when Allooloo kicked him in the stomach area and Petooloosie's surgeon, Dr. Katherine Canil, reaffirmed that the damage to his bladder was not spontaneous, but caused by some sort of trauma.

After he was released from the hospital on March 9, Petooloosie, through his lawyer Euan Mackay, demanded that a criminal investigation into the matter be conducted. He has also lodged a complaint with the RCMP Public Complaints Division.

When the report heads over to Nunavut sometime in the next couple of weeks, Fudge will become involved in the process.

"We review it to make sure all the areas are covered...and see if there is potential for charges to be laid," said Fudge.

But as Fudge explained, the final decision to lay charges against Allooloo would not come from within the RCMP itself.

"We send it out to a prosecutor to make the decision on the charges," said Fudge, who added that the Crown lawyer also had the option of passing that decision along to another Crown employee.

"They may decide to send it out themselves."