Judge places publication ban on murder conviction assessment in Nova Scotia case

A judge granted a publication ban Thursday on a preliminary assessment of the case of a Nova Scotia man whose murder conviction may have been the result of a miscarriage of justice.

HALIFAX — A judge granted a publication ban Thursday on a preliminary assessment of the case of a Nova Scotia man whose murder conviction may have been the result of a miscarriage of justice.

The lawyers for Glen Eugene Assoun and the federal Justice Department argued last week against allowing the public to hear or see details from the initial federal review of Assoun’s second-degree murder conviction.

The Justice Department said the recently completed assessment shows there may have been a miscarriage of justice and a more in-depth investigation has been launched.

Assoun was sentenced to life in prison in 1999 for the stabbing of his girlfriend, but his lawyers want to use the preliminary assessment to help secure his freedom.

The document is expected to be key evidence in Assoun’s interim judicial review hearing next month in Halifax.

In his written ruling, Justice James Chipman of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court says allowing the public access to the document when the investigation is still in its early stages could pose a threat to the administration of justice.

“I am of the overwhelming view that it contains highly sensitive information, that ought not to be revealed at this stage of the proceedings,” he says.

The preliminary assessment contains details witnesses never expected to become public and evidence that may prove to be inadmissible in future, he wrote, adding that some of the information might also jeopardize an ongoing investigation, while other portions are privileged and protected by statute from release.

Chipman’s order agrees to a proposal from the Crown that “documents, filings, physical evidence and materials” at the interim judicial review be “sealed from public view” until the final ministerial review and any judicial proceedings that could come out of it.

He didn’t accept arguments from a lawyer representing the CBC that parts of the preliminary assessment could be edited and publicly released.

“This is not a case where attempting to redact and anonymize parts of the preliminary assessment will prevent a serious danger,” Chipman wrote.

He says the preliminary assessment was provided for review to Assoun’s lawyer and was considered an early stage of the process.

“Here, the preliminary assessment represents a very early stage of a four-step process involving the preliminary assessment, investigation, preparation of the investigation report and decision of the minister of justice,” the decision says.

Just Posted

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place made sure Red Deer families were able to have an… Continue reading

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read