TORONTO — Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein, made brief comments in court today following the resolution of the sex assault charge against her client, which included the signing of a peace bond and an apology from the former CBC radio host to his accuser.
Here’s the text of Henein’s comments:
I want to make a few very brief comments because at this stage, 18 months later, I cannot think of much that has not been said about this matter by someone somewhere.
But there are a few, final thoughts that I would like to say and I think need to be said at this moment.
Let me begin by thanking the court for accommodating us today and allowing the matter to be brought forward.
The conclusion of this matter is entirely appropriate for all the reasons set out by Mr. Callaghan.
The conclusion to this matter today, as your honour knows, is entirely consistent. It is not an admission or a plea. I want to thank Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Klukach. And while prosecutors need not be thanked for the job that they must do, it would be wrong to not acknowledge that in some cases, this is quite simply more challenging than others. They have done so. I am grateful to Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Klukach for their integrity. They did the right thing.
In the last 25 years in the criminal justice system, I have never seen a case like this one. I have never had a client be the subject of such an unrelenting public scrutiny and focus. I have been witness to it as closely as anyone can be. It is a focus that has not only been on Mr. Ghomeshi but also his family and those that have stood beside him. He has taken this time to reflect in a meaningful and sincere way. His apology demonstrates that.
Throughout this, he has had his liberty restricted. He has been, as your honour is aware, on bail for 18 months. He has been through one of the most intensely public trials in our history. He has not been allowed to function in the most basic and routine of ways. The last 18 months are one of the most difficult I have witnessed anyone ever having to withstand. I do not think many of us would have been able to do so. But he as. With dignity and the solemnity that is appropriate, he has demonstrated his respect for the judicial system throughout. With this apology, Mr. Ghomeshi has done everything the Crown and the courts have asked him to do.
It is in my sincerest hope that with the conclusion of this proceeding, Mr. Ghomeshi can move forward. On a personal level, it is my equally sincere hope that the Canadian public can now move forward. And while this matter has consumed the attention of so many, there are many equally important matters in this country that the public wants to know about and that I hope we can now turn our attention to.