Calgary

Former U of C student accused of hiding guns on campus sees charges dropped

A University of Calgary student who was accused of hiding two semi-automatic pistols in the ceiling of a campus building no longer faces charges.

Police initially feared school shooting planned, but guns later linked to drug trade

The man accused of hiding two guns in the ceiling of the U of C's Earth Sciences Building no longer faces charges after they were stayed last week. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

A former University of Calgary student who was accused of hiding two semi-automatic pistols in the ceiling of a campus building no longer faces charges.

Husayn Nathoo's trial was to begin Monday morning, but last week his weapons-related charges were stayed by prosecutor Adam May, who said there was "no reasonable likelihood of conviction."

In August 2015, electrical contractors found two .45-calibre semi-automatic pistols inside a box hidden in a false ceiling in the university's Earth Sciences Building.

Originally facing seven firearms charges, Nathoo, 28, was heading to trial on two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner said the Crown's case was "strictly circumstantial" and faced "evidentiary issues."

When the guns were discovered, police said they were initially concerned the intent was to use the weapons in a school shooting but they later determined the firearms were connected to the drug trafficking trade. 

Nathoo is also charged with trafficking cocaine and marijuana. He will go to trial on those charges in July.

When a charge is stayed, the prosecution has one year to reactivate the case but that very rarely happens.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at meghan.grant@cbc.ca or follow her on Twitter.

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