Nova Scotia

N.S., Ottawa agree to initial compensation for Glen Assoun

The federal and Nova Scotia governments are making an initial payment to Glen Assoun, a man who spent 17 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder. 

Assoun was exonerated earlier this year in the 1995 murder of Brenda Way

Glen Assoun at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on March 1, 2019. (Robert Short/CBC)

The federal and Nova Scotia governments are making an initial payment to Glen Assoun, a man who spent 17 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder. 

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey told reporters Thursday the payment would be made to Assoun through his lawyers by the end of the week. 

The amount, which is not being disclosed, is split evenly by the two levels of government. 

Furey said talks continue on broader compensation and other issues, such as a formal apology or inquiry. 

The money is considered an ex gratia payment, which Furey said is not an admission of liability, and is to reflect the financial circumstances of Assoun. Assoun's lawyers have said he's living on the support of others. 

The federal justice minister determined there was likely a miscarriage of justice is Assoun's case, said Furey.  

"So it was apparent that there had to be some recognition of those circumstances and that formed part of the discussions and advanced the discussions around a short term payment," he said.  

Assoun was exonerated earlier this year in the 1995 murder of Brenda Way in Dartmouth, N.S.  

During a review of the case, federal officials discovered that Halifax police had overlooked leads that pointed to another suspect and RCMP had destroyed files that could have led to Assoun being freed sooner. 

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey answers questions about compensation for Glen Assoun. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

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