No trial un­til 2018

Ev­i­dence, dis­clo­sure, trans­la­tion com­pli­cate tri­als in Ot­tawa man’s death

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - NEWS - ALAN S. HALE ahale@post­ twit­

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­der of Khan Nguyen, an Ot­tawa man who died in Alexan­dria in early June af­ter be­ing left at the hos­pi­tal there, is pro­gress­ing slowly and won’t be ready to put the two men ac­cused of killing him on trial un­til af­ter Jan­uary.

One of those two men, Anh Quang Nguyen, ap­peared in a Corn­wall court­room on Thurs­day to set a date for his own trial on charges of ac­ces­sory to mur­der af­ter the fact and pro­duc­tion of mar­i­juana.

Two dif­fer­ent Crown at­tor­neys have been as­signed to his case, one for the ac­ces­sory to mur­der charge and the other for the drug of­fence. They in­formed the judge that be­cause Nguyen and his ac­com­plice, Tri Ming Hoang, were not be­ing in­ves­ti­gated prior to their ar­rest, the po­lice are still try­ing to com­plete an en­tire crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into their ac­tiv­i­ties with the le­gal process al­ready un­der­way.

Ac­cord­ing to the Crown, of­fi­cers raided a prop­erty con­nected with the two men and seized 110 pieces of ev­i­dence as well as four dif­fer­ent cell­phones. Ev­ery one of these items is cur­rently wait­ing to be an­a­lysed by the Cen­tre of Foren­sic Sciences; a process that will take at least un­til the end of De­cem­ber. The phones will also have to be bro­ken into, which also takes time and ex­per­tise.

Be­cause of this, the Crown told the court it would op­pose any ap­pli­ca­tion to have the le­gal pro­ceed­ing against Nguyen and Hoang go ahead this fall.

That didn’t ap­pear to be a prob­lem, how­ever. Be­cause of all of the co-or­di­nat­ing of wit­nesses, ex­perts, judges and lawyers that will be re­quired for the tri­als, the clos­est avail­able date for Nguyen’s five­day trial ap­pears to be in May.

Hoang, who is fac­ing a charge of se­cond-de­gree mur­der, hasn’t even reached the point of try­ing to set a trial date.

The charges against the two men also typ­i­cally re­quire they tried by a jury, but find­ing one could po­ten­tially de­lay the process an­other 10 months, so on Thurs­day the Crown of­fered to con­sent to a trial by a judge for the sake of ex­pe­di­ency.

The 29-year-old Nguyen could only fol­low the dis­cus­sion in court with the aid of a Viet­namese in­ter­preter. His lan­guage bar­rier is also ap­par­ently ham­per­ing his abil­ity to seek bail, de­spite be­ing held in jail for more than three months.

Nguyen is ap­par­ently re­tain­ing his de­fence at­tor­ney with the help of le­gal aid, which will only pay for an hour of an in­ter­preter’s time once a month to fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate dis­cus­sions with his lawyer.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, he asked about the sta­tus of his bail ap­pli­ca­tion, but no one knew what to tell him. His lawyer had sent an agent in­stead of com­ing in per­son.

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