Man accused of murder has charge stayed due to delays

Man accused of murder has charge stayed due to delays
Man accused of murder has charge stayed due to delays

Published on: May 19, 2017 | Last Updated: May 19, 2017 5:19 PM EDT

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A man charged with second-degree murder in connection with a 2013 slaying in St-Michel had his case placed under a stay of proceedings on Friday when a Superior Court judge ruled it took too long for him to be brought to trial. 

Van Son Nguyen, a British citizen who was living in Montreal at the time, has been incarcerated since January 2013 and was scheduled to go to trial in September. 

Nguyen, 52, becomes the third person charged with murder in Quebec to have a stay of proceedings granted since last summer’s Jordan ruling, a Supreme Court of Canada decision that set shorter time frames in which cases need to get to trial.

“The proceedings in the present case must be stayed,” Superior Court Judge Daniel W. Payette wrote in his 20-page decision. “Justice delivered in due time is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic society.”

It was reported at the time that Nguyen had allegedly attacked the victim with a machete. But the severity of the crime, Payette wrote, “doesn’t allow the accused’s constitutional rights to be thrown out.”

The Jordan ruling, which Payette often cited in his decision, set limits on how long a person accused of a crime should expect to wait for a trial. In Superior Court cases the limit was set to 30 months, in provincial court, it was set to 18 months.

The courts ruled that Nguyen’s case would have been delayed by 55 and a half months by the end of his trial.

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