Murder charges against alleged B.C. gangster Jamie Bacon could be thrown out of court following a revelation that jail authorities recorded telephone conversations between Bacon and his lawyer for seven months.
Bacon is one of the accused in the killings of six men in a Surrey apartment in October 2007.
The existence of the recordings was made public during Bacon's court challenge of a decision to hold him in solitary confinement at a Surrey detention centre.
The Crown said the jail inadvertently recorded the conversations.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan, who was hearing the Bacon challenge, was informed of the recordings last week and revealed their existence in court Friday.
Bacon's lawyer, Kimberley Eldred, said hearing recordings of herself talking with her client gave her an unpleasant "feeling in the gut" that she'd never experienced before.
Could end prosecution
Anthony Fraser, a lawyer representing the B.C. attorney general, said the fact the recordings were made could have serious ramifications. These include the possibility of abandoning the prosecution against Bacon and the potential of disciplinary action or prosecution against staff at the Surrey pre-trial detention centre, Fraser said.
The privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients is considered a cornerstone of Canada's legal system.
McEwan ordered the Crown to provide by Monday an accounting of how and why the recordings were made. A hearing on the issue will be held Dec. 16,.
Bacon is one of four men accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the slayings of six men. A fifth man, professional poker player Sophon Sek, has been charged with manslaughter and breaking and entering in connection with the deaths.
Police have said four of the victims were connected to the drug trade, while two were innocent bystanders and likely were killed because they were potential witnesses.
Dennis Karbovanec has pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.