Innocente case thrown out

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice has thrown out a drug conspiracy case that was before the courts for years. He's also accused the RCMP and federal Crown prosecutors of gross misconduct.

In a decision handed down on Friday, the judge stayed charges against 39-year-old Daniel Joseph Innocente of Hubley, Nova Scotia, and 45-year-old Gilles Poirier of Montreal. The pair was charged with conspiring to traffic cocaine and hashish in 1996.

A month-long trial last spring ended in a hung jury, and another trial was scheduled for this month. But Justice Allan Boudreau says the Crown intentionally withheld relevant evidence from the defence and misled the court.

Boudreau also says the RCMP's drug section altered and sent an incomplete and misleading report about its investigation to superiors. Poirier has been free on bail, while Innocente has been held in custody.