Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh case to be probed by Ottawa

The federal minister of justice says there will be an internal review of Ottawa's role in the Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh case.

Extradition from India delayed

Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh, now 69, was convicted in two separate trials in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on 17 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency, almost 15 years after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused boys. The Supreme Court of Canada later threw out the charges. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The federal minister of justice says there will be an internal review of Ottawa’s role in the Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh case.

MacIntosh's convictions for child sex crimes were reversed on appeal, because it took too long to bring him to trial.

Part of the delay came about because he had to be extradited from India.

Peter MacKay said his department will look at the federal government's involvement in the case.

The complainants in the case have been calling for a public inquiry.

MacIntosh, a Cape Breton businessman now living in Dartmouth, N.S., has also pushed for a review.

He still denies the allegations and says he wants his name cleared.

Case marred by delays

MacIntosh's legal saga began in 1995, when the RCMP received complaints from two men who said MacIntosh abused them back in the 1970s when they were boys.

Over the years, more complainants emerged and the list of charges grew to more than 40 counts of sexual abuse involving nine people.

Even though police knew exactly where MacIntosh was living in India, he wasn't extradited until late 2007 — more than 11 years after the first complaints to police. Once back in Nova Scotia, it took almost three years for the trial.

During the first trial, he was convicted of 13 counts of gross indecency and indecent assault, and sentenced to four years in prison. In a second trial, MacIntosh was convicted on another four counts and sentenced to another 18 months in jail.

MacIntosh's lawyers successfully appealed all the convictions to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, arguing the 11 years it took to extradite him from India, plus the three-year delay in getting to trial once he was back in Nova Scotia, violated his charter rights to be tried within a reasonable time period.