Dennis Oland preliminary inquiry may hear from 60 witnesses

About 60 witnesses could be called to testify at the ongoing preliminary inquiry in the Dennis Oland case, including several Saint John police officers.

Saint John police chief says 52 officers subpoenaed for a current case, but won't confirm which one

About 60 witnesses could be called to testify at the ongoing preliminary inquiry in the Dennis Oland case, including several Saint John police officers.

The preliminary inquiry for Dennis Oland, who is charged with second-degree murder in his father's death, began in Saint John on May 12. (CBC)
​Oland is accused of murdering his father, prominent businessman Richard Oland, nearly three years ago.

The hearing will decide if there's enough evidence to go to trial.

Eleven witnesses have testified to date.

Crown prosecutors say they expect to call as many as 60 witnesses and the defence could decide to call some of its own.

Saint John Police Chief Bill Reid recently told council 52 of his officers have been subpoenaed to appear in a case currently before the courts. That's more than a third of the police force.

"That's huge, it's huge. I can tell you right now there's probably nobody in the province of New Brunswick, any police agency, that would have 52 members going to one particular court case," Reid told reporters outside the council meeting.

Businessman Richard Oland was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. (Canadian Yachting Association)
Reid declined to say if he was referring to the Oland case.

"I’m not going to talk about cases, I’m just talking in general," he said.

Crown prosecutor John Henheffer confirmed a number of officers have been subpoenaed for the Oland hearing, although he declined to say exactly how many.

He did say, however, that not everyone who was subpoenaed will end up actually testifying.

The preliminary inquiry is set to resume on June 9.

Twenty days have been set aside, spread out until mid-July, but the hearing is running behind schedule and more time may be required.

There's a publication ban on the evidence presented.

Dennis Oland has been accompanied by several family members during the preliminary inquiry and is pictured here leaving court hand-in-hand with his wife, Lisa. (Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon/CBC)
The ban will only be lifted if Oland is discharged or at the end of a trial — if a trial is ordered.

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his uptown office on July 7, 2011.

Dennis Oland, 46, his only son, is charged with second-degree murder.

The preliminary inquiry began on May 12.

The courtroom has heard from police officers and medical experts.

Dennis Oland, who is free on bail, has been attending the hearing, accompanied by several relatives, including his mother, Connie, his two sisters, Lisa Bustin and Jacqueline Walsh, and his wife, Lisa.

Some members of his extended family, such as his uncle Derek Oland, the executive chairman of Moosehead Breweries Ltd., and a few other supporters have also attended the hearing, but not many members of the general public.

Oland is being represented by two prominent defence lawyers — Alan Gold, of Toronto, and Gary Miller, of Fredericton.

Judge Ronald LeBlanc has been brought in from Bathurst to hear the matter.

The other Crown prosecutors involved are Patrick Wilbur and Derek Weaver.