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New trial ordered in Surrey court case judge had stayed because of delay

The court of appeal overturned a Surrey judge’s order to stay proceedings in criminal case

A new trial has been ordered in a Surrey provincial court criminal case that a judge had stayed because of “unreasonable” delay.

Justice Christopher Grauer, of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, noted the “underlying offences” in Regina versus Jim Singh Kanda relate to extortion, unlawful confinement, assault and numerous firearms offences alleged to have taken place on Oct. 1, 2016.

The trial judge directed a stay of proceedings on account of delays, which the Crown appealed. Grauer allowed the appeal, set aside the stay of proceedings and ordered a new trial.

Justices David Frankel and Susan Griffin concurred with Grauer’s decision.

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The appeal court heard that Crown counsel directed a stay of proceedings on a police-laid information on Oct. 5, 2016 that dealt with six counts but the investigation continued and on Feb. 26, 2019 a new information was sworn, charging Kanda with nine counts.

Grauer noted in his July 7 reasons for judgment that the Surrey judge found the total delay, counting from the police-laid information, was 44 months and 25 days “if the gap of 28 months and 22 days were included, well above the presumptive ceiling of 18 months.

“If the gap were not included, the total delay would fall below the presumptive ceiling,” Grauer explained. “The judge considered that it should be included, and ordered a stay.”

Grauer noted that after the Crown stayed the charges Kanda was set free and “remained fully at liberty” until further charges were laid in 2019.

“In between, the police carried out an extensive ongoing investigation, of which the respondent was fully aware,” Grauer noted, adding that “what happened in the interim was this: a viable case was built.”

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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