June 24th, 2024

Accused in human trafficking case advised to hire lawyer


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 1, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A man charged with several others in relation to a human trafficking case, but who hasn’t decided whether to hire a lawyer, received some sound advice when he appeared in Lethbridge provincial court this week.

“I’m going to give you some free legal advice,” Judge John Maher told Meriton Kransniqi. “I’m not allowed to give advice. I haven’t been allowed to do it in 41 years, but I’m going to make an exception. The advice is this, you need a lawyer. Whatever it may cost, you need a lawyer.

“These charges are extremely serious, and if you are not successful at trial, you’re going to spend a long time in jail.”

Krasniqi pleaded not guilty a year ago to charges of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault/party to offence with another person, aggravated sexual, trafficking in persons under the age of 18, and two counts of sexual assault.

The charges stem from a police investigation into human trafficking in which 10 individuals, including two youth, were arrested in August 2021. Police said several men groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to various locations where sex offences took place. The individuals also engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl, and additional victims came forward later in connection with the investigation.

Krasniqi had been attempting to retain new counsel after he parted ways with his lawyer last June. However, he told the judge Monday he won’t know for sure if he will hire a lawyer or represent himself until after he has read through about 3,000 pages of disclosure, which he requested several months ago, but only received recently.

“So, I’m going through it and I actually want to see if I actually should get a lawyer, but most likely I probably will.”

Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles reminded court that the case is 17 months old and a step needs to be taken.

Maher repeated his earlier warning, and granted Krasniqi another adjournment to March 20 to allow him time to review his disclosure and decide whether he will retain a lawyer.

“My advice is, get a lawyer. It’s as simple as that,” Maher reiterated.

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Say What . . .

This is an old game used by criminals for decades in trying to create delays in their court cases in hopes the case will be dropped or if/when found guilty they will get lesser sentences because of some of the witness have forgotten some of the event. Police testimonies can also be confused even following their notes from the case, may not remember importan details.
Whether is delaying getting a lawyer or dumping your lawyer, it is all the game they play and our archaic judicial system allows it!
I remember cases against a large number of the Hell’s Angels being thrown out bacause they were not granted their cases heard in a ‘reasonable’ amount of time!

Ben Matlock

As in the case of the four men charged with mischief in association with the Coutts blockade?