Judge rules no camera in courtroom for Vader hearing Monday

A judge has ruled that a video camera will not be allowed in the courtroom to livestream a court hearing on Monday at which lawyers for convicted killer Travis Vader will argue for a mistrial.

Camera OK for Sept. 15 decision but not for day of oral arguments, judge says

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Denny Thomas will hear oral arguments Monday as lawyers for Travis Vader seek a mistrial. (CBC News)

A judge has ruled that a television camera will not be allowed in the courtroom to livestream a court hearing Monday where lawyers for convicted killer Travis Vader will argue for a mistrial.

CBC and other media outlets had sought the right to live broadcast the mistrial decision.

During a short hearing Friday afternoon, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Denny Thomas said he doesn't know if he will be able to deliver a decision on the mistrial application Monday.

"It is not appropriate to allow cameras into the courtroom on that day … given the uncertainty," Thomas said.

Thomas had allowed a camera in the courtroom on Sept. 15 when he convicted Vader of two counts of second-degree murder in the July 2010 deaths of St. Albert seniors Lyle and Marie McCann.

It marked the first time at an Alberta criminal trial that a camera was permitted inside the courtroom for a criminal trial. Media outlets broadcast the decision live and streamed video on the internet. Thousands watched CBC Edmonton's livestream.

But Thomas said Friday that on Sept. 15 he was reading from a "highly scripted" summary of his long decision, and Monday's hearing will be different in nature.

Thomas will hear oral arguments from Vader's lawyers and the Crown.

Defence lawyers are seeking a mistrial, saying Thomas made a "colossal" error when he convicted Vader using Section 230 of the Criminal Code, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1990.

The Crown opposes a mistrial ruling, and argues that Thomas could instead strike Vader's two murder convictions and replace them with convictions for manslaughter.

The media consortium that sought to have a camera in court on Monday includes CBC, Postmedia, Global and CTV.