No iron-clad al­ibi for Phillion: pros­e­cu­tor

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

OTTAWA, Ont. (CP) — A pros­e­cu­tor says Romeo Phillion did not have an iron-clad al­ibi that would have au­to­mat­i­cally cleared him of a 1967 mur­der con­vic­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tor Hi­lary McCormack told an On­tario Su­pe­rior Court jus­tice to­day that Phillion has given mul­ti­ple ac­counts of his where­abouts dur­ing the stab­bing death of an Ottawa man four decades ago.

McCormack was re­but­ting ar­gu­ments by Phillion’s lawyers that their client’s Char­ter rights had been vi­o­lated through his wrong­ful con­vic­tion, and she dis- puted the no­tion that po­lice and pros­e­cu­tors un­fairly with­held key ev­i­dence that might have cleared him.

The On­tario Court of Ap­peal last year over­turned Phillion’s mur­der con­vic­tion for the 1967 stab­bing death of Ottawa fire­fighter Leopold Roy.

It or­dered a new trial, but the court made it clear it had not con­cluded Phillion was in­no­cent.

McCormack also dis­puted the as­ser­tion that Phillion had been de­prived of his lib­erty while serv­ing al­most 32 years for mur­der, be­cause he was also serv­ing 16 years for two rob­beries at that time.

Phillion has been free on bail pend­ing ap­peal since 2003. But his lawyers ar­gue that Phillion should be ar­raigned for the crime one more time, so that he can for­mally plead not guilty.

Phillion’s lawyers are mak­ing that ar­gu­ment be­cause the Crown has said it will sim­ply with­draw the charge against Phillion and aban­don a new mur­der prose­cu­tion. That would mean no new trial — and no chance for Phillion to plead not guilty.

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