De­fence calls wit­ness in gang mur­der trial a ‘liar’

Calgary Herald - - CITY - KEVIN MAR­TIN KMartin@post­

Lawyers for three men ac­cused of plot­ting the mur­der of a ri­val gang­ster said Thurs­day the Crown’s star wit­ness can’t be be­lieved.

And they said even if the wit­ness’s tes­ti­mony is ac­cepted, Jus­tice Beth Hughes can’t find the trio con­spired to mur­der (Fat) Vinh Truong.

Trong Nguyen, Henry Nguyen and Byran Balla are charged with con­spir­acy to mur­der Truong, a mem­ber of the FK street gang, in Septem­ber 2012.

Much of the Crown’s case re­lies on the tes­ti­mony of a wit­ness who can only be iden­ti­fied by the pseudo-ini­tials A.B.

But Trong Nguyen’s lawyer, Adri­ano Iovinelli, said the wit­ness is an ad­mit­ted per­juror and mur­derer and should be dis­be­lieved.

“He lies be­cause he’s a liar,” Iovinelli said.

The wit­ness has full im­mu­nity from pros­e­cu­tion for three mur­ders he ad­mit­ted com­mit­ting.

Iovinelli said A.B. im­pli­cated his client be­cause he felt he had to give the po­lice some­thing to en­sure the im­mu­nity deal re­mained in place.

Without the deal, the wit­ness feared pros­e­cu­tion on three mur­der charges, the lawyer said.

He said based on the ev­i­dence, Hughes could eas­ily find A.B. was coun­selling his client and the oth­ers to kill Truong.

Iovinelli also said there was no ev­i­dence any of the three ac­cused agreed with each other to a joint plan to mur­der Truong.

He said A.B.’s tes­ti­mony in­di­cated the only time he was with all three ac­cused, the mur­der plan wasn’t dis­cussed.

In fi­nal ar­gu­ments Wed­nes­day, Crown prose­cu­tor Adam May said the ev­i­dence against the three ac­cused was over­whelm­ing.

May said the tes­ti­mony of A.B. was backed up by recorded con­ver­sa­tions and other ev­i­dence.

“There is a wealth of in­de­pen­dent ev­i­dence that cor­rob­o­rates the wit­ness ev­i­dence,” May told Hughes.

A date for the judge’s rul­ing will be set Jan. 19.

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