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Court denies man’s bid to have drug charges tossed

Martin van den Hemel   May-08-2017

BC Supreme Court in Downtown Vancouver

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A man arrested four years ago at Vancouver International Airport after 22 kilograms of marijuana and five kilograms of hashish were found in his suitcases, has failed in his bid to have the charges dismissed.

David Edward Herman was charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking after he checked in two suitcases on a domestic flight from Vancouver to Toronto on March 17, 2013.

In an application to B.C. Supreme Court, Herman’s lawyers sought a stay of proceedings on the grounds of an unreasonable delay before his case reached trial.

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But B.C. Supreme Court Justic e Barry Davies ruled that there were exceptional circumstances that resulted in the delay of slightly more than 42 months.

The case was in part delayed due to a “nasty accident over the weekend,” involving the Crown counsel who was prosecuting the case. The accident made it difficult for him to walk, the court ruling said.

After the charges were originally filed against Herman in 2013, changes were made by the Supreme Court of Canada dealing with an accused’s right to a trial within a reasonable time. The new framework made the delay ceiling a maximum of 30 months, although provisions were made to allow the Crown to argue exceptional circumstances contributed to the delay.

Justice Davies attributed “two discrete periods that each constitute delay arising from exceptional circumstances” for about 20 months of the 42-month delay. That leaves about eight months before the 30-month delay period is reached.


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