Crown prosecutors in Syncrude's trial on the deaths of hundreds of ducks in a northern Alberta tailings pond will reopen their case Wednesday to allow the company's lawyer to re-examine two witnesses.
Syncrude lawyer Robert White said Tuesday he wants to question an environmental officer and a zoologist about new information that has come to light.
White made the application one day after the Crown wrapped up its case at the trial, which is now in its ninth week in St. Albert provincial court.
Later that day, White said he intended to ask Judge Ken Tjosvold to dismiss all charges against Syncrude, arguing the prosecution had not proved its case in the April 28, 2008, incident when 1,600 ducks died on the Aurora tailings pond north of Fort McMurray.
Syncrude has been charged under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act with failing to prevent migratory birds from landing on a toxic tailings pond.
Federal Crown prosecutor Kent Brown said the prosecution has agreed to reopen its case so White can ask his questions.
"We're interested in the fairness of the trial," Brown told CBC News.
"If the defence feels for some reason that they need to examine these witnesses further and that they were in some way surprised by any evidence that came out the other day, then we're going to accommodate that the best we can as long as it makes sense from a procedural point of view."
White will cross-examine the two witnesses Wednesday morning.