Appeal Court quashes Surrey drug trafficking convictions, orders new trial

Amrit Singh Rai had been convicted of three counts of drug trafficking after a seven-day trial

A Surrey man who was convicted of trafficking in cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine while operating a recovery home in the city will get a new trial after the B.C. Court of Appeal decided Friday that the trial judge erred in his assessment of the case and quashed the convictions.

Amrit Singh Rai had been convicted of three counts of drug trafficking after a seven-day trial. It was alleged the crimes happened between January 19, 2012 and May 15, 2012 when Rai operated and lived in “Freedom for Life Recovery House,” for people recovering from substance abuse.

The court heard the charges stemmed from an undercover investigation. There is a publication ban on any information that could identify any witnesses or undercover police involved in this case.

READ ALSO: New trials ordered for two accused robbers convicted in Surrey court

READ ALSO: Surrey Traffic Court opens for business on Nov. 4

The Crown’s theory was that Rai masterminded a conspiracy to traffic in illegal drugs sold out of Citypoint Towers in Surrey.

Three units were involved in the investigation – units 1902 and 1509 in Tower 2, and unit 1804 in Tower 1.

Justices Robert Bauman and Susan Griffin in their Nov. 1 reasons for judgment – concurred in by Justice Mary Saunders – noted the case against Rai was “entirely circumstantial.”

The appeal court decided to “quash the convictions and direct a new trial,” after finding that the trial judge had “misapprehended material evidence, failed to rule on a central issue involving the admissibility of hearsay evidence, and effectively imposed an evidentiary burden of proof on the appellant to establish an alternative inference to circumstantial evidence.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ralston to take over as Energy Minister in B.C. cabinet shuffle

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Elderly pedestrian killed in Vancouver crash with Surrey delivery van

Elderly woman was in marked crosswalk with husband when she was hit

One dead following pedestrian collision in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights

Incident occurred just after 7 a.m. on 24 Avenue near 188 Street

VIDEO: Surrey Mounties arrest man trapped in cell phone repair shop

Man arrested as police respond to report of break-in in Guildford

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Pooches Jasper and Jake bring comfort to Abbotsford Police Department

Comfort dogs there for cuddles and play time when needed

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Heavy rain on the way for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound

Up to 80 millimetres of rain is expected

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Most Read