Drug trial delayed

A British Columbia provincial court judge has stayed charges against an accused drug kingpin because for more than nine years Canadian officials made no move to have him extradited from India to face trial.

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia provincial court judge has stayed charges against an accused drug kingpin because for more than nine years Canadian officials made no move to have him extradited from India to face trial.

An arrest warrant was issued for Arpinder Singh Gill on July 23, 2004, for conspiracy to import cocaine between B.C., Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

Gill left Vancouver for India in September 2003, and court heard that Canadian police knew where he lived in that country but did not ask for his extradition. He was not arrested until he returned to Canada on Aug. 1, 2013, to attend his son’s engagement celebration in Ontario.

Gill petitioned the court for a stay of proceedings, arguing that the delay was a violation of his charter rights and prejudiced his ability to defend himself.

In a decision posted this week on the court website, Judge Gregory Rideout agreed, saying the allegations against 47-year-old Gill are extremely serious but the delay was “extraordinary” and the Crown offered no explanation.

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