Sophonow to receive full compensation

Manitoba is to pay out the balance of the compensation awarded to wrongfully convicted Thomas Sophonow

Thomas Sophonow will finally be getting the full $2.6 million in compensation for his wrongful conviction in the murder of a Winnipeg teenager.

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer announced Tuesday that the province will pay out the balance of the compensation.

Sophonow was awarded $2.6 million after DNA evidence cleared him of the 1981 murder of waitress Barbara Stoppel. He had spent four years in prison.

In his ruling, former Supreme Court justice Peter Cory had said Ottawa was to pay 10 per cent of the award. The province was to hand over 40 per cent. The city would be responsible for 50 per cent.

Ottawa paid its share and the province handed over a small amount, leaving Sophonow with $457,000 in compensation.

But the rest got tied up in legal wrangling between Manitoba and Winnipeg. The city refused to pay any money, saying it was a provincial responsibility.

Sophonow and his lawyer agreed with the city, and launched a lawsuit against Manitoba for the rest of the $2.6 million.

The province sent Sophonow the rest of its 40 per cent, but he sent the cheque back, saying he wanted the full amount of the compensation.

The Barbara Stoppel case is still unsolved.