The accused, Mohammad Hassan Mian, was arrested for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, but not informed of the reason for his detention for 22 minutes, and not informed of his right to retain and instruct counsel for approximately 25 minutes. After cross-examining a number of police officers, defence counsel argued that police had violated Sections 10(a) and 10(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The trial judge agreed that the accused had been improperly deprived of his right to be informed of the reason for his detention, as well as his right to retain and instruct counsel. The Court of Appeal, however, overturned this decision on the basis of its view that defence counsel had improperly cross-examined police witnesses.
The Supreme Court of Canada restored Mr. Mian’s acquittal, finding that except in exceptional circumstances, it is inappropriate for appellate courts to raise new issues outside the grounds of appeal raised by the parties. Furthermore, the Supreme Court determined that a trial judge’s findings of fact on a Charter application can “only be undermined in limited situations, not applicable in this case.” On this basis, there was “no reason to disturb the trial judge’s conclusion that s. 10 (a) and (b) of the Charter were infringed.”
Decided by the Supreme Court of Canada on September 12, 2014.
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