Yukon prosecutor welcomes ruling on 'Mr. Big' confessions
Federal prosecutors in Yukon say they welcome a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on "Mr. Big" confessions.
They say the ruling for Newfoundland and Labrador resident Nelson Hart clarifies the techniques undercover police can use to gain confessions from suspected killers.
According to the Supreme Court of Canada decision, the RCMP may have abused its power, making Hart's confession unreliable. The Crown's case against Hart in his 2007 conviction was based largely on evidence collected through the sting in which undercover officers pretended to be members of a criminal gang.
But Whitehorse prosecutor Noel Sinclair says the murder case against Hart should not be compared to a more recent "Mr. Big" murder confession in the Yukon.
"The only significant evidence against Mr Hart was his confession, there were no other indicators of the reliability of that confession," Sinclair says, "And the circumstances of that case are very different from the evidence presented in the recent murder trials presented here in the Supreme Court of Yukon they are really in a sense comparing apples and oranges."
The Yukon's "Mr. Big" sting was unique in that it employed a female crime boss.
The confessions it produced played a major part two years ago in convicting Christina Asp and Norman Larue for a Whitehorse murder. Both are serving life sentences in federal prisons with Larue waiting to hear about the appeal pending on his conviction.