October 25th, 2020

N.S., B.C. police watchdogs to probe officers’ destruction of evidence in Assoun case


By Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press on October 16, 2020.

Glen Assoun, the Nova Scotia man who spent almost 17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, stands outside Supreme Court in Halifax on Friday, July 12, 2019. Nova Scotia's police watchdog agency is asking its British Columbia equivalent to assist in probing whether officers broke the law when evidence was destroyed in the case of a wrongfully convicted man. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s police watchdog agency is asking its British Columbia equivalent to assist in probing whether officers broke the law when evidence was destroyed in the case of a wrongfully convicted man.

Felix Cacchione, director of the Serious Incident Response Team, says he expects the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. will begin working on the Glen Assoun case after the province’s attorney general gives formal approval following the Oct. 24 B.C. provincial election.

Assoun was imprisoned for almost 17 years and lived under strict parole conditions for almost five more before a Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruling in March 2019 reversed his 1999 conviction for the murder of Brenda Way in Halifax.

Cacchione says the mandate is to investigate the actions of a joint RCMP-Halifax police unit after evidence collected by former RCMP Const. Dave Moore was destroyed or went missing.

Last year, a federal Justice Department report revealed members of the unit destroyed the constable’s database of information about other suspects in Way’s murder.

It’s alleged the evidence went missing before Assoun’s 2006 appeal hearing, which he lost.

Way was found with her throat slashed in a Dartmouth, N.S., parking lot in November 1995. The crime remains unsolved.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2020.

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