Crown prosecutors and the Saint John Police Force will not oppose the unsealing of two production orders related to the 15-month-old Richard Oland murder investigation.
But they will seek to have them subject to the same redactions imposed on other related documents by provincial court Chief Judge R. Leslie Jackson.
It's unclear what the position of lawyers representing members of the Oland family will be.
CBC News and the Telegraph-Journal had written to the Crown earlier this month, urging that the two production orders issued by the Court of Queen's Bench and two search warrants issued by the provincial court be released.
"The Sept. 28, 2012 decision of Chief Judge Jackson sets forth the law in New Brunswick with respect to the propriety/scope of sealing orders generally, and in particular, in reference to the murder of Mr. Richard Oland," media lawyer David Coles had argued.
The ongoing complete sealing of the documents is "not sustainable at law," Coles had said.
No mention of 2 search warrants
In a two-page reply dated Nov. 6, Crown prosecutor John Henheffer does not mention the two search warrants requested.
But he says after meeting with police to discuss the matter, it was decided the Saint John Police Force would make an application to unseal the two production orders, issued on July 9, 2011 and July 15, 2011, subject to the same redactions as other search warrants and related documents in the case.
Police then advised, however, they were not sure whether their copies of the production orders and the informations filed to obtain them were the same as the court's copies, said Henheffer. So the Crown has requested copies of the sealed documents from the court.
"We are not yet in receipt of these materials," Henheffer said.
"Unfortunately, whereas the production orders were sealed until such time as the Court orders them unsealed, we are unable to forward to all parties the proposed redactions without direction from the Court," he said.
A court date on the matter has not yet been set.
'Hallmark evidence' remains sealed
Oland, 69, was found dead in his uptown Saint John office on July 7, 2011. No charges have been laid in the prominent businessman's death.
The previously-released documents do not say how Oland died or whether any weapon was involved, but do indicate that police have a suspect in mind and hint at a possible financial motive.
The documents also reveal strained family relationships and the fact that Oland had a longtime mistress.
Some of the information the judge ordered should remain sealed in seven previously-released warrants and related documents include details about the condition of Oland's body.
That information is considered so-called "hallmark evidence" that only the person or persons responsible for Oland’s death would know, the judge said.
Several time references have also been blacked out.
CBC News and the Telegraph-Journal are also seeking to have a publication ban on the names of people who were subject to police searches lifted.
The media outlets have applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a judicial review of Jackson’s decision, saying he erred by exceeding his jurisdiction and by contradicting case law. A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 12.
Search warrants are normally public documents.
CBC News and the Telegraph-Journal have been fighting to have the search warrants released since December.