On Tuesday’s episode of The National Peter Mansbridge interviewed one of the most controversial people in Canada. Marie Henein, Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer, defended him against four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.
“I’m thrilled with the result,” Henein told the CBC. “Obviously I think it is the correct result. It was a principled result in a case where people were agitating, I think perhaps not being as measured as we would like.”
This is the first interview she’s done since the high profile trial began, but she could not go into details because of a 30-day appeals period. Mansbridge asked her about more broad aspects of the trial like what she thought of women who say she has betrayed them.
“I respect their right to say it. I don’t respect their opinion or agree with it,” she said, adding that men do not have to face this kind of backlash when disagreeing with other men.
“You’re viewed as people who disagree,” she said, referring to men, adding that the implication that she is against women is “a fundamental misconception of what we do in the justice system.”
“I mean female judges adjudicate all sorts of cases, including sexual assault cases. They are not traitors to the gender when they acquit and they’re not supporters of the gender when they convict. They’re doing their job. As am I.”
Mansbridge also asked Henein if she thinks sexual assault cases should be treated differently.
“No,” she said. “In the sense that the presumption of innocence is set aside or reasonable doubt is thrown out the window,” adding that in most cases the Crown could use more resources. However, she insists the Crown in the Ghomeshi case had ample resources.
“I think justice was served. I think it is pretty significant that in one of the highest profile cases, in one of the cases where everybody had an opinion…that you knew, that you could walk into court and that there would be an impartial person that would decide on the evidence that is heard.”
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