April 11, 2018
St-Pierre, Hogue, Roy
Applications for leave to appeal after the expiry of the time limit and to withdraw a guilty plea. Dismissed.
In June 2015, in the context of “Project Clemenza,” the applicant pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to import, traffic and possess cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. In 2017, after the Crown declared that it was unable to meet its disclosure duties, orders to stay proceedings were issued under s. 579 of the Criminal Code (R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46) with respect to all the co-accused whose cases were still pending. In view of this situation, the applicant asked to withdraw his guilty plea.
Although the Crown has a duty to disclose, in R. v. Dixon (S.C. Can., 1998-02-19), SOQUIJ AZ-98111035, J.E. 98-460,  1 S.C.R. 244, the Supreme Court stated that the defence must also exercise due diligence in this respect. Consequently, as in this case, where an accused knew or should have known that the Crown had failed to disclose some of the evidence and yet did nothing for tactical reasons or due to a lack of diligence, he or she cannot subsequently argue that the failure to disclose affected the fairness of the trial. The applicant’s application cannot be granted because, before he entered his guilty plea, which he did freely and voluntarily, he knew that additional evidence had been requested by other co-accused, yet he never sought to obtain it. Indeed, he took a different tack. Moreover, unlike the situations in Auclair c. R. (C.A., 2016-08-31), 2016 QCCA 1361, SOQUIJ AZ-51318860, 2016EXP-2891, J.E. 2016-1568, Brind'Amour c. R. (C.A., 2014-01-15), 2014 QCCA 33, SOQUIJ AZ-51033745, 2014EXP-302, J.E. 2014-154 and Berthiaume c. R. (C.A., 2015-01-21), 2015 QCCA 130, SOQUIJ AZ-51143394, 2015EXP-480, this case does not involve a breach of the duty to disclose or abuse of process due to misconduct by an agent of the State.
Text of the decision: http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca/ID=86E13ADED57E5E9A4ED215D9B64A3450
On the same day, the Court of Appeal dismissed his application to extend the time to appeal and for leave to appeal following the guilty plea entered by one of the co-accused of the appellant in Flocari c. R., published in SOQUIJ AZ-51483869.
Text of the descision: http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca/ID=4F6B80E8B6C5A83C4DE6BC70219195DA
*Summary by SOQUIJ
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