Perjury allegations against a wealthy Calgary businessman at the centre of a police corruption scandal should be thrown out because of unreasonable delay, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Defence counsel Gavin Wolch said the six-year-old case against Ken Carter has involved Crown delays exceeding 41 months, well over the standard the Supreme Court says is acceptable to get a case to trial.
But prosecutor Katherine Love said much of delay is at the feet of the defence, including more than 13 months between the original trial date and when it was supposed to occur last November.
That trial date was also lost when Carter took ill in Russia and didn’t return to Canada until December, but Wolch conceded that further delay is on his client. A trial is now scheduled for October.
Wolch told Justice William Tilleman he should enter a judicial stay on behalf of his client because Carter’s Charter right to a timely trial has been violated.
Carter’s trial on a perjury charge in connection with an ongoing child custody battle he was having with his ex-girlfriend, Akele Taylor, was supposed to commence Sept. 18, 2018, when he went on trial for criminally harassing her as well.
But in July 2018, Wolch and lawyer Alain Hepner, who represents retired police detective Steve Walton, successfully argued their perjury trial should be held separately from the criminal harassment case.
Love said the severance application came so late that it was inevitable that a separate trial would have to occur later than the 30-month period the Supreme Court has deemed appropriate for getting cases completed.
She said the application was filed in April 2018, mere months before the trial was to begin.
“The only application that was made that required this adjournment was one that was made so late it made it mathematically impossible (to have both trials within the 30 months),” Love said.
“When the original trial dates were set they were under the 30 months in (the Supreme Court case of) Jordan.”
Wolch noted the case itself has dragged on for six years from the dates of the alleged perjury in March 2014, noting his client wasn’t even charged until two years after the fact.
He argued the Crown had plenty of time in the intervening months to prepare its case to ensure all matters could be heard within the mandated time period.
Both Carter and Walton are charged with perjury for allegedly lying about their business relationship during testimony at a child custody trial.
Carter was ultimately convicted of harassing Taylor by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to have current and former police officers conduct surveillance on her.
He is currently on bail after appealing both his conviction and his three-year sentence.
Tilleman reserved his decision.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts
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