I started the movie script for a Michael Ritter scandal made-for-TV-movie last night. I'm thinking of casting Christopher Walken in the lead role.
You can't make this stuff up!
'Everything I had known for five or six years wasn't true'
Charles Rusnell, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2006
EDMONTON - Prominent Edmonton businessman Michael Ritter told the young staff of his trust company he was the victim of a conspiracy by police and the government -- and some of them believed it.
"I honestly believed the RCMP were out to get him because he had been very public with his criticism of the government in Alberta," Patrick Mitchell testified in provincial court Tuesday.
But Mitchell, a former employee at Newport Pacific and a close friend of Ritter, said he began to have serious doubts after he attended Ritter's bail hearing Sept. 9, 2005, and heard the case laid out by Crown prosecutor Greg Lepp.
Mitchell turned to the RCMP for answers.
"I just wanted to know what was true," Mitchell told the court. "I felt like I didn't know anything. Everything I had known for five or six years wasn't true."
Mitchell would eventually provide Sgt. Marjorie Maier of the RCMP commercial crime unit with a printout of a passport from Belize in the name of Adam d'Orleans, which contained Ritter's photo. The printout became instrumental in helping the RCMP secure a search warrant to seize Ritter's computer and charge the former chief parliamentary counsel of the Alberta legislature with breach of recognizance. A judge had earlier ordered Ritter to turn in all his passports and to not obtain any more.
Mitchell is one of the main witnesses in Ritter's trial on that charge, which carries a penalty upon conviction of up to two years in jail.
It's one of a string of sensational charges Ritter faces. In Canada, he faces several charges related to his alleged role in laundering $43 million US stolen from a brokerage firm by a Wall Street energy trader. The United States is seeking Ritter's extradition for his role in a $250-million US Ponzi scheme, in which money from later investors is used to pay earlier ones. Read the rest here.
Click here for the complete Michael Ritter Scandal Chronology...