Mar 17, 2014

Summary of R v Groshok

R v Groshok, 2013 SKPC 52 (CanLII)
As a result of the execution of a search warrant at the residence of the accused, he was charged on 4 separate Informations with 31 offences involving drugs, weapons and a breach of an undertaking. The police officer who swore the Information to Obtain a Search Warrant (ITO) to support the search warrant had made reference to information provided to another police officer from a confidential source. The accused filed a pre-trial motion alleging that his s. 7 Charter right to make full answer and defence had been violated as result of the non-disclosure of certain material by the Crown. At the hearing, a revised copy of the Information and a copy of one page of the affiant's handwritten notes were placed before the Court. The accused argued that he was entitled to disclosure regarding information provided by the confidential source to the other police officer and copies of the originals of notes and any material relating to the information provided by the confidential source in this matter. The accused took the position that there were inconsistencies between the ITO and the handwritten notes of the officer and it was necessary for disclosure of the information sought to see if there was an explanation for the inconsistencies. The Crown took the position that the requested material was not only irrelevant but was protected by informer privilege. As the accused had failed to show that he fell within the 'innocence at stake' exception or that privilege was waived, the Crown was not obliged to disclose the material. The Court reviewed the disclosure in question before rendering its decision.HELD: The application was dismissed. There was no evidence that the source was a material witness to the crimes with which the accused had been charged or that the source had acted as an agent provocateur. The information sought was not necessary to prove the innocence of the accused and therefore, the information remained privileged. The Crown and its informer had not implicitly or explicitly waived privilege by disclosing a vetted copy of the officer's handwritten notes and redacted copy of the ITO to the defence. The accused's s. 7 Charter right had not been violated.