Rehtaeh Parsons suspects' lawyers want Crown to testify

Defence lawyers for the two teenagers accused in the Rehtaeh Parsons case want a Nova Scotia Crown attorney to testify about his role in the matter.

Crown attorney Craig Botterill can speak to evidence turned over by police, defence lawyers say

Rehtaeh Parsons died after being taken off life-support following a suicide attempt in April 2013. (Facebook)

Lawyers for the two teenagers facing child pornography offences in the Rehtaeh Parsons case want a Nova Scotia Crown attorney to testify about his role in the matter.

The lawyers are now arguing about how the case was brought before a judge in the first place. By the end of Wednesday's court appearance in Halifax nothing was decided, but both defence lawyers allege there has been an abuse of process in the case.

Ian Hutchinson filed a subpoena asking prosecutor Craig Botterill to testify about  his correspondence with police. The application is supported by the other defence lawyer, Brian Church.

They also want Botterill to talk about the prosecution's policy on "sexting."

They argue that if the policy hadn't been changed around the time Parsons took her own life last year, then it wouldn't have been possible to charge the two men.

 Botterill's testimony would also be helpful in understanding "why charges were laid in the first place," said Church.

"We want to know why, despite advice given to police, that charges were laid when Nova Scotia advised against it."

AG wanted to quash request 

Lawyers for the attorney general tried to quash Botterill's subpoena, arguing that he can't be compelled to testify because he is a Crown attorney.

It's now up to the judge to decide.

"If he is to be a witness he'll be a witness and testify, as will three other witnesses, two detectives, and we'll just make our application for further disclosure,” said Church.

Arguments will be made on both matters next week.

Parsons was 17 years old when she died in April 2013. Her family says she had been sexually assaulted at a party when she was 15 and a digital photo of the incident was circulated around school and social media.

Police did not initially lay any charges in the case, but they reopened their investigation in the months following the teen's death and charged two 18-year-old men.

One is accused of two counts of distributing child pornography, the other with making and distributing child pornography.

One of the teens is also charged with threatening to kill Parsons’s father, Glen Canning. Threatening messages were left on Canning’s YouTube page and his Wordpress blog.

The teen's death made international headlines and prompted new laws aimed at curbing cyberbullying.

With files from the Canadian Press