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06-02-2005, 06:54 PM
Grewal tapes altered: audio expert
Jim Bronskill and Alexander Panetta
Thursday, June 02, 2005
OTTAWA (CP) -- One of Canada's top forensic-sound analysts says a conversation secretly taped by Tory MP Gurmant Grewal appear to have been altered.
Stevan Pausak told The Canadian Press a 46-second segment of the recording now at the centre of a political storm has an abnormal break that indicates a portion may have been cut out.
The gap occurs in a recorded phone chat between Grewal and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh about the possibility of Grewal joining the Liberals in exchange for an unspecified reward.
"It appears to be altered," Pausak said.
"This brief segment at the beginning shows that it's not continuous, and it should be."
© Canadian Press 2005
Dr. Stevan Pausak, has more than 29 years of experience as a forensic scientist and expert witness. In this period he has testified in numerous courts in criminal trials and civil litigations, in coroners inquests and arbitration hearings.
06-02-2005, 07:18 PM
Man oh man, what next?
I heard that the tapes were in the hands of the RCMP and that they gave them back to the owner. Do you know if they did the investigation on the tapes or was Pausak's services used by the RCMP.
06-02-2005, 07:19 PM
He was hired as an independent auditor for/by the Canadian Press corps (CP).
06-03-2005, 12:15 AM
Two audio experts have independently concluded that the secret recordings made by MP Gurmant Grewal were edited.
John Dooher, a forensic audio engineer hired by CBC News, said Thursday there is a "crude" edit and something "amiss" about a section of tapes made by the B.C. member of Parliament.
"Right here, we hear what sounds like an edit. We have a change in the frequency spectrum so something has changed there," said Dooher, demonstrating the difference while at a sound board.
His conclusions are supported by Stevan Pausak, one of Canada's leading forensic-sound analysts. Pausak was asked by Canadian Press to carry out a similar examination. He said one of the tapes has an abnormal break, indicting a section may have been cut out.
Dooher said while more sophisticated testing could offer more certainty, he believes his original conclusion.
"This sounds to me, not only that this is an edit, but an edit done with something very crude," he said.
Dosanjh hinted Thursday that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's office was involved in tampering with the tapes.
About 90 minutes of taped conversations were released early this week, though Grewal had said he recorded up to four hours of talks with Dosanjh and Prime Minister Paul Martin's chief of staff, Tim Murphy.
Two radio producers from Ottawa news radio station CFRA have also pored over the audio and noted a handful of bizarre skips and scratches.
06-03-2005, 08:57 PM
Grewal tapes to be probed
Fresh controversy and confusion over affair
OTTAWA (CP) — The federal ethics commissioner is launching an investigation of the Gurmant Grewal secret tapes as some Conservatives distance themselves from the unsavoury affair.
Bernard Shapiro’s office confirmed the probe amid fresh controversy and confusion over the tapes.
Tories have defended the covert recordings for days, but Conservative Deputy Leader Peter MacKay refused Friday to vouch for Grewal’s credibility.
“Look, I’m not putting my faith in anyone in this entire matter,” he said after audio experts said the tapes appear to have been altered.
“I’m not here defending anybody’s veracity or whether the tapes are pristine.”
Grewal slyly made the tapes, estimated to be two to four hours in length, of his talks with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, chief of staff to Prime Minister Paul Martin.
They are heard discussing the possibility of Grewal joining the Liberals in exchange for an unspecified reward. The negotiations were recorded just before the minority Liberals faced a crucial budget vote that they eventually won by a tissue-thin margin.
Conservatives say the Liberal tactics could violate Criminal Code anti-corruption laws that carry penalties of 14 years maximum in prison.
The Tories released the tapes in an effort to embarrass the Liberals, but both parties have been splattered with political muck.
MacKay vainly tried in a heated exchange with reporters Friday to refocus attention on the Liberals and Conservative claims that they tried to “buy” the support of Grewal and his wife, fellow MP Nina Grewal, with plum postings.
But that point was blurred by audio experts who said the publicly released tapes had been altered.
***After one top analyst raised doubts Thursday, the Tories released a few passages they said were mistakenly lost in digital transfer.***
But two of the excerpts that reappeared — translated from Punjabi — are embarrassing for Grewal because they show him asking Dosanjh for a reward:
“If it is something good then it would be tempting,” Grewal says in one instance.
In another, he adds: “I want to be someone up there. If I go with you guys, I want to be someone up there.”
Grewal’s credibility may also be damaged by a discrepancy between the audio and transcripts provided on his website.
Grewal has claimed the Liberals offered him an ambassadorship. But on the tape, Murphy is heard ruling out such an appointment “outside of politics” because “the prime minister doesn’t think that’s the right thing to do.”
Murphy’s reference to the prime minister does not appear in the transcript provided by Grewal.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper defended Grewal on Friday.
He dismissed suggestions that the tapes were manipulated, saying “glitches” occurred when they were transferred to CD.
In a separate matter, the ethics commissioner has been investigating Liberal claims that Grewal asked people to post bonds before he would help them get visitor’s visas for friends or family.
The tapes document Grewal raising the matter with Murphy, who suggests it might be helpful if Shapiro issued an interim report. That prompted[Conservative] critics to question if the Prime Minister’s Office intended to try to influence the ethics commissioner.
The Liberals trotted out an audio expert Friday who, like two other experts, concluded the tapes were altered. Glenn Marshall said he found identical bits of sound in two areas of tape where someone offers a cup of tea, and he maintains the duplication is too exact to be a coincidence.
Asked if Grewal will be booted from the Tory caucus if police find he altered the tapes, MacKay said: “That will be up to the leader, and that’s a big ‘If.’ “
06-06-2005, 07:19 PM
IE: "Runs Away"
The Conservative MP embroiled in a taping scandal will be taking an indefinite stress leave, but he will not be leaving the Tory caucus, party leader Stephen Harper confirmed Monday.
On Saturday, Grewal was spotted speaking to passengers in the waiting area at a Vancouver airport, allegedly trying to get them to take a package to Ottawa.
"We can confirm that we are currently investigating an incident involving Mr. Grewal," said Air Canada spokeswoman Laura Cooke, but would not confirm whether there was a tape in the envelope.
According to reports, Grewal was booked on a flight to Ottawa and passed through security to waiting area where he was overheard making the alleged requests.
Security regulations require passengers to be on the plane carrying their luggage.
The investigation comes as the controversy over tape-recorded conversations between Grewal and two high-ranking Liberals shows no signs of dying down on Parliament Hill.
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