Canada

Appeal court reserves decision in Regan case

May 29, 1999

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has reserved its decision in the case of Gerald Regan.

The prosecution wants to revive nine sex-related charges against the former Nova Scotia premier.

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Those charges were stayed last spring.

At that time, Regan's lawyer argued there was an abuse of process.

In his decision, the judge raised concerns about actions of the crown.

The most serious involved judge shopping to avoid a judge appointed by a Liberal government, and the interviewing of witnesses before police laid charges.

On Friday, Regan`s lawyer Edward Greenspan argued those pre-charge interviews were a way for the crown to bond with potential complainants and to convince them to go forward in the case.

He says Regan deserved an independent, objective crown who would review charges once they were laid by police.

But the prosecutor representing Nova Scotia in this appeal says crowns can be strong advocates in pursuing justice, and can and should be able to conduct pre-charge interviews.

The lawyer for the Attorney General of Canada supported that position.

He cautioned the court not to accept Greenspan`s position that an accused has the right for an independent review of charges.

He says that would be a brand new constitutional right.

Regan`s defence team made another argument to the appeal court on Friday.

It says even if the crown wins this appeal, Regan should not face another trial.

He was acquitted of eight other sex-related charges in a seven-week trial last December.

The defence says Regan has gone through enough.

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