Crown blames most of Ali murder trial delays on defence and ‘extraordinary events’

VANCOUVER — A Crown lawyer says holdups to the trial of a man found guilty of murdering a 13-year-old Burnaby, B.C., girl were mostly attributable to the defence and “discrete exceptional events,” as he argued against the case being thrown out over delays. 

Daniel Porte told a B.C. Supreme Court judge that if those events were subtracted, the remaining delays to Ibrahim Ali’s trial would have amounted to about 25 months, falling within the allowable threshold.

If the so-called Jordan application by lawyers for Ali is successful, he will be set free without sentencing for the 2017 killing.

Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough argued last week that his client had been in custody and charged with first-degree murder for more than 63 months by the time the trial ended, more than double the 30-month limit set by the Supreme Court of Canada.

McCullough said most of the adjournments in the case were due to mismanagement by the court.

The body of the girl, whose name is covered by a publication ban, was found in Burnaby’s Central Park in July 2017, and Ali was charged with first-degree murder about one year later.

Ali’s DNA matched semen found in the girl’s body.

Ali, who appeared by video on Monday wearing an orange sweat suit, was found guilty on Dec. 8, less than 24 hours after jury deliberations began.

He now faces a mandatory life term with no chance of parole for 25 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press