Suspect denied right to obtain and instruct counsel: lawyer

Suspected drug trafficker Ahmed Nur was denied his right to speak to a lawyer for 10 hours as police conducted an investigation, his lawyer told court on Thursday.

Suspected drug trafficker Ahmed Nur was denied his right to speak to a lawyer for 10 hours as police conducted an investigation, his lawyer told court on Thursday.

Nur is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and is in the midst of a three-week trial.

Paul Moreau, his lawyer, told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench that his client’s right to obtain and instruct counsel without delay according to section 10 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was denied during a 2011 investigation.

Earlier this week, testimony indicated that police were instructed to deny Nur access to a phone immediately after his arrest.

Const. Josh Matthies said this was done in the interest of police officer safety. He said they were obtaining warrants for residences and locations in Red Deer and that allowing Nur to use a phone could jeopardize officer safety when they went to execute the warrants.

This charter application, the second of the trial, would put the trial into its second voir dire — a trial within the main trial to determine if evidence is admissible.

The first voir dire closed on Thursday with more police testimony about observations during surveillance of a residence in the Johnstone neighbourhood of Red Deer. At issue in the first voir dire is whether police had a reason to arrest Nur and another male.

Moreau said police did not have proper grounds.

Crown Prosecutor Patricia Giroux will give her rebuttal arguments next week.

The trial continues on Friday with an expert on drug money expected to testify.