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PROCEDURE - Crown’s duties - Disclosure

Wednesday, November 04, 2020 @ 6:21 AM  

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Application by the accused for an order requiring the Crown to redact information that would reveal his and his father’s addresses from their disclosure brief. The accused and his father were two of over 50 people charged with criminal offences arising from a police investigation linked to the automobile towing industry. The investigation centred on a towing company owned by the accused. The Crown alleged the accused’s towing company and other business ventures constituted a criminal organization. The Crown planned to give every defendant the same electronic disclosure brief. In 2019, an attempt had been made on the accused’s life by unidentified assailants who shot at him while he was in his vehicle.

HELD: Application allowed in part. There was good cause to believe the accused’s life was presently in danger. The danger he faced would be materially increased if the Crown revealed his home address. The proposed disclosure of the accused’s home address engaged the accused’s s. 7 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) rights. The other defendants did not need to know the accused’s home address in order to make full answer and defence to the charges against them. Disclosing the accused’s address was not necessary to maintain a situation of parity between the different defendants. The disclosure would not advance any compelling state objectives. Disclosing the accused’s home address would interfere with his protected s. 7 Charter interests in a manner that was arbitrary and contrary to the principles of fundamental justice. He was entitled to a remedy to prevent the anticipated breach from happening. Disclosing the father’s home address would not put either accuseds’ lives or safety at increased risk. The accused’s ties to his father’s residence were qualitatively different from his connection to his own home.

R. v. Vinogradsky, [2020] O.J. No. 4023, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, J. Dawe J., September 21, 2020. Digest No. TLD-November22020005