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Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
April 16, 2021
Mr. Peter Juk, QC
Assistant Deputy Attorney General
BC Prosecution Service
Ministry of Attorney General
PO Box 9276 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9J7
Dear Mr. Juk:
On March 2, 2021, Mr. Justice Masuhara of the BC Supreme Court made an order excluding key evidence under s. 24(2) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) in the matter of R. v. Samandeep Gill, New Westminster Registry, docket X080640 (the “Gill Case”). The effect of this decision on the voir dire was to exclude key evidence. As a result, the Crown called no further evidence and Mr. Samandeep Gill was acquitted of the shooting death of Manbir Singh Kajla and the attempted murder of Mr. Kajla’s wife, whose name is subject to a publication ban.
The BC Prosecution Service has reviewed the Oral Ruling, as well as Justice Masuhara’s previous Ruling on Over-seizure, 2020 BCSC 2030, and Ruling on Charter s. 8 Application, 2021 BCSC 152, and has advised me of its conclusion that there are no reasonable arguments that would lead to a successful Crown appeal in the Gill Case. I have received a briefing from you about this conclusion, and appreciate the time and effort that went into providing this detailed advice.
Given the result of the Oral Ruling and its impact on the public's confidence in the justice system in that real evidence was excluded in a manner that resulted in Mr. Gill not being tried for a serious and violent crime that resulted in the death of a community member, as well as the potential impact of this decision on other cases, it is my opinion that there is a strong public interest in appealing from the result in the Gill Case if a viable ground for appeal exists.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 5 of the Crown Counsel Act, this letter is my directive to you to retain Professor Craig Jones, Q.C., former Supervising Counsel of the Constitutional & Administrative Law Group in the then BC Ministry of Justice, to review the Oral Ruling, the Ruling on Over-seizure, and the Ruling on Charter s.8 Application and to provide an opinion on the viability of a Crown appeal in the Gill Case.
As you may designate him to be either Crown Counsel pursuant to Section 4(1) of the Crown Counsel Act or as a Special Prosecutor pursuant to Section 7 of the Crown Counsel Act, I leave that designation selection for your determination.
David Eby, QC
Attorney General. [ap22]