Crown Opts To Re-Try Ahenakew On Hate Charge
Friday, February 01, 2008 at 15:25
Saskatchewan Justice has announced that former Assembly of First Nations leader David Ahenakew will be retried for wilfully promoting hatred under section 319(2) of the Criminal Code.
The charge stems from remarks made by Ahenakew in an address at a conference in December 2002.
Ahenakew was initially charged in June 2003 and was convicted on July 8, 2005.
He appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench and, on June 8, 2006, the decision was overturned and a new trial was ordered.
The Crown appealed the matter to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and, on January 14, 2008, the appeal was dismissed.
Saskatchewan Public Prosecutions executive director Daryl Rayner says Ahenakew was originally prosecuted because the Crown believed that “there was a reasonable likelihood of success and that it was in the public interest to do so”.
Rayner says prosecutors still believe “this case meets that standard”, so they have decided to proceed with a new trial as ordered by the Court of Appeal.