CBC conviction for violating publication ban stands
Saskatchewan's highest court has refused to hear the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's appeal of its conviction for ignoring a publication ban in a high-profile sex case.
As a result, a $2,000 fine against the CBC ordered by the Court of Queen's Bench stands.
The charge of breaching a publication ban was laid after former Reform Party MP Jack Ramsay was sentenced for attempted rape in May 2000.Ramsay's case related tohis past as an RCMP officer in Saskatchewan three decades earlier.
On the day Ramsay was sentenced, a CBC reporter interviewed the woman who was the complainant in the case. She had insisted her name and picture appear in the news story, even though the courts said she couldn't be identified.
After that was broadcast, the CBC was charged with violatingthe publication ban.
The corporation tried to overturn the conviction at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal on Monday, but was not successful. The appeal court declined to grant leave to appeal.
The lawyer representing CBC, Michael Tochor, said victims should have a say in whether or not their identity is shielded.
"It's a dangerous, paternalistic attitude to say, 'Someone else knows what's best for you,' " he said.
However, Crown lawyer Graeme Mitchell said publication bans are controlled by prosecutors, not individuals.
"The victim's wish in the criminal justice system is only one aspect," he said.
The CBC could take the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada.