Glen Assoun, jailed for over 16 years for the knife murder of his ex-girlfriend in a Halifax parking lot, is seen at his daughter’s residence in Dartmouth, N.S. on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. The federal justice minister has quashed a murder conviction and directed a new trial be held for a Halifax-area man who was jailed for almost 17 years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. David Lametti’s decision released early Friday sys there is a reasonable basis to conclude there was a miscarriage of justice in the case of Glen Assoun. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Assoun calls for inquiry into wrongful conviction that led to his imprisonment

HALIFAX — Glen Assoun says he wants a public inquiry to determine what led to his wrongful conviction for murder in 1999 and imprisonment for almost 17 years, saying he is afraid the case will be ”swept underneath the table.”

“I’d like to see accountability,” he said.

On Friday, Assoun was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Brenda Way after federal Justice Minister David Lametti quashed the conviction and ordered a new trial.

The re-trial wrapped up quickly as Crown prosecutor Mark Scott said there was no reasonable prospect for a conviction, and no evidence was presented before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Way’s body was found in a Halifax-area parking lot on Nov. 12, 1995. He throat had been slashed and she suffered multiple stab wounds.

Assoun was arrested almost three years later. He was convicted by a jury in a 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. He spent 16 years and eight months behind bars.

For almost two decades, Assoun has insisted he was with his girlfriend on the night Way was killed. He has also contested contradictory testimony from witnesses, some of whom were criminals with suspect motives.

The former Defence Department employee was eventually released on bail in 2014 after federal lawyers determined there may have been a miscarriage of justice.

The reasons for that decision remain under a publication ban.

Now 63 years old, Assoun says he is focusing his energy on finding out what happened.

“I would like to see accountability through the police force, the Halifax police and the Halifax prosecution,” he said in an interview from his daughter’s home in suburban Halifax. “In all the wrongful convictions, there’s never anything done about it.”

When Lametti quashed Assoun’s conviction, he issued a statement saying his department’s investigation turned up “relevant and reliable information that was not disclosed” to Assoun during his trial.

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