Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.—Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789
Ben Franklin was right about taxes, but death? Not so much.
When I blogged about the fate of Javad Heydary a couple of months ago, the Law Society of Upper Canada was 100% sure the body repatriated to Canada from Heydary’s native Iran was, in fact, his.
As far the LSUC is concerned, he was dead, really dead:
More than a month after a funeral was held for Javad Heydary, the case surrounding the embattled Toronto lawyer and his boutique firms is still being held up by a nagging question: Is he really dead?
A much-anticipated report by the Law Society of Upper Canada, presented in Ontario Superior Court on Monday, offers a glimpse into how more than $3 million belonging to a Mississauga couple was siphoned out of Heydary Hamilton’s trust account.
However, the status of the lawyer at the centre of the scandal remains somewhat less clear. Although the regulator’s directory lists the lawyer as “deceased,” the manager of trustee services told the court the body repatriated from Iran in December “was difficult to identify with 100 per cent certainty.”
To add further confusion, according to the Toronto Star report:
Margaret Cowtan said three “relatively independent individuals” identified the remains, and provided affidavits to the law society following the funeral service and burial in Richmond Hill.
“All indicated to some degree or another that the body belonged to (Heydary),” she told the court.
However, Cowtan said they could not be certain “because the body had not been embalmed in a manner consistent with North America.”
Heydary, 49, was best known for the lawsuit he launched on behalf of investors in the Trump International Hotel & Tower.
The law society received word in mid-December that his body had been repatriated from his native Iran, where he had reportedly fled amid allegations of missing money.
When asked why more scientific means were not used to identify the body, Cowtan told the Star the regulator “does not have the power to declare people dead or alive or obtain DNA evidence.” [emphasis added]
I suppose the LSUC didn’t bother to consult the Office of the Chief Coroner for advice on behalf of Heydary’s former clients before declaring that Heydary was deceased.
Of course, you can just Google it next time: What if a loved one dies outside of Canada?
Mark Twain famously once said: ” “The report of my death was an exaggeration”. Perhaps Heydary may yet appear and utter: “The report of my near death was an experience.”
From the sublime to the ridiculous. This entire Heydary saga is devolving into this famous Monty Python And The Holy Grail skit: