The lengthy delay in getting Calgary millionaire Ken Carter to trial on perjury was a result of defence strategy and therefore not unreasonable, a judge ruled Friday.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice William Tilleman agreed with Crown prosecutor Katherine Love
before Carter was scheduled to stand trial last November was on the defence.
As a result, the wealthy businessman did not have his Charter right to be tried within a reasonable time breached, Tilleman said.
The 2019 trial was ultimately rescheduled when Carter took ill in Russia and failed to return to Canada until December.
Love successfully argued that the decision by defence lawyer Gavin Wolch to apply to have Carter’s perjury charge tried separately from a criminal harassment allegation — only months before a scheduled hearing in 2018 — left no time to have two trials held within the 30-month guideline set by the Supreme Court.
Wolch and defence counsel Alain Hepner, who acted for retired police detective Steve Walton, successfully argued separate trials were needed for the perjury and criminal harassment charges.
Both men were convicted of stalking Carter’s ex-girlfriend, Akele Taylor, during a child custody battle.
Carter paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to have Walton and other former and current members of the Calgary Police Service conduct intense surveillance on Taylor for months.
Tilleman said Wolch would have known the severance application would force the perjury
set by the Supreme Court.
“Mr. Carter cannot both manufacture delay and then complain that the criminal proceedings against him have taken too long,” Tilleman said.
“Mr. Carter failed to act in a proactive manner in bringing his (severance) application.”
Carter was charged in June 2016, in connection with the stalking of Taylor, as well as allegations he and Walton lied during custody hearings over Carter and Taylor’s shared child.
The two men and Walton’s wife, Heather, were scheduled to stand trial on all their charges in the fall of 2018.
But Wolch filed his application to sever
and got a successful decision in July, just two months before the trial was to begin.
“There was no question that a successful severance application would result in the perjury trial being set outside the Jordan limits,” Tilleman said in citing the Supreme Court decision.
He said although the application was a legitimate one, the late timing of it “would see the accused benefit from his own inaction.”
Carter was sentenced earlier this month to three years in federal prison for orchestrating the harassment campaign. He is free on bail pending an appeal of both his conviction and jail term.
Walton was also sentenced to three years for his role, which including a bribery charge.
Their perjury trial is now set to begin Oct. 5.
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