NO-SHOWS OUTRAGE JUDGE
CALGARY -- Sending a letter proclaiming innocence rather than showing up to
answer for her crime earned the ire of a judge poised to consider a woman's
sentence. "This is outrageous ... what other spin should I put on it?"
provincial court Judge Heather Lamoureux said yesterday. "I've never
encountered this situation before."
Things got complicated when two people convicted of drug trafficking were
no-shows for sentencing submissions.
Gianlucia Comesino and Marika Orazio, both of Italy, were charged with
importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The charges came after the pair were caught trying to smuggle almost 40,000
ecstasy tablets, hidden in suitcases, on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany,
to Calgary International Airport in March 2003. Authorities pegged the
street value of the cache at $1.4 million.
The courts already ruled Comesino absconded and was on the lam when he
failed to show for an appearance before the judge. The same ruling was
levelled against Orazio when, instead of showing up, she sent a letter
explaining she has a job in her homeland and would not be making an appearance.
"I wouldn't like to be sentenced because I'm really innocent," she wrote,
detailing the merits of her new career.
Crown prosecutor John Healy called the move "grotesque contempt of court."
Orazio's lawyer Hersh Wolch defended her actions, saying she stayed for the
trial but wasn't given a chance to have her say in court.
"I don't care what she thinks in her mind, she's guilty and I've found her
so," Lamoureux said.
The defence and Crown suggested a 3 1/2-year sentence for Orazio while
Healy is asking for 6 1/2 years for Comesino.