Calgary man accused of sexual assault, who was granted a new trial because of his previous lawyer’s incompetence, has had the charge against him dropped by the Crown prosecutor. The accused, whose name cannot be published, lost five family members, including two sons, while in custody on the charge. His appeal lawyer, Yoav Niv, managed to get him released on bail after the Crown conceded that a new trial was warranted. The accused was convicted of charges of assaulting and sexually assaulting his estranged wife after he had moved back in with her during the COVID-19 quarantine in May 2020.
New defence lawyer Brad Kraus said his client’s reaction to the charge being dropped was “a mixture of relief and ambivalent feelings about what to do next.” Kraus noted that the accused wondered if he could face similar charges in the future.
Ineffective legal representation
The accused’s initial trial lawyer, Efrayim Moldofsky, was berated by a three-member Alberta Court of Appeal panel in January 2022 over the quality of his written submissions. Moldofsky filed a factum that the court deemed to be unacceptable, and the judges declined his application to proceed to oral submissions before he drafted a suitable written brief. After Niv came on, the court accepted the Crown’s concession that a new trial was warranted because the accused “received ineffective legal representation at trial, which occasioned a miscarriage of justice.”
The story highlights the importance of effective legal representation in ensuring a fair trial and the impact that a lack of representation can have on the accused’s life. To learn more about this case and the issues it raises, read the full article.
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