Final arguments in Eric Dejaeger case to begin May 26

Final arguments in the trial of a former Oblate priest facing dozens of charges of sexual abuse against children will be heard as scheduled the week of May 26.
Eric Dejaeger is escorted outside the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Monday, November 18, 2013. (Vincent Desrosiers/CBC)

A Nunavut court judge has ruled that final arguments in the trial of Eric Dejaeger will be heard as scheduled the week of May 26, and will not be delayed by a ‘similar fact’ application made by the Crown prosecutor in the case.

Dejaeger, a 66-year-old former Oblate priest, is facing dozens of charges alleging sexual abuse against children in Igloolik.

In March, the Crown made an application for the court to consider the evidence of each complainant to be in support of the evidence of other witnesses.

Prosecutor Barry Nordin said in court there were similarities in what was presented by the complainants.

Dejaeger's lawyer argued against the application, saying witnesses may have colluded against Dejaeger prior to the trial.

Justice Robert Kilpatrick issued a written decision on the Crown application yesterday.

He said the trial evidence in the case is now complete, and ruling on this application would require detailed and laborious consideration of the evidence by all 40 complainants.

With over 2,000 pages of transcripts, Kilpatrick said this would be “a difficult and time consuming undertaking.”

He denied the Crown's request that the ruling on the application be delivered before final arguments begin.

Kilpatrick said his ruling on the application will come as part of the final judgment in the case.

“Any and all final arguments on the evidence will be made, and must be completed, during the week of May 26th 2014, as scheduled,” he wrote.