Accused killer sues RCMP and attorney general
Travis Vader seeks $150,000 over false charges
Friday, Feb 14, 2014 07:00 pm
Travis Vader, the man accused of killing St. Albert residents Lyle and Marie McCann, is suing the RCMP for $150,000 over false charges.
The statement of claim filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench last week states that, in February 2012, an agent for the RCMP named Thomas Berube supplied a letter of employment to Vader’s lawyer as part of Vader’s bail application.
The lawsuit alleges the letter was fraudulent and was created by Berube for the purposes of nailing Vader with fraud charges.
The charges were a delay tactic for police, ensuring Vader would not be released from custody and buy them more time to gather evidence in connection with unrelated investigations, the lawsuit alleges.
The claim states Vader did not know the letter was fake when it was entered into court.
Vader was charged with obstruction of justice and uttering a forged document. The charges were dropped by the Crown prosecutor days before he was scheduled to stand trial for them in January 2013.
The claim alleges the other RCMP members knew the letter was fake and knew Berube “was inherently untrustworthy and had a motive to falsely implicate (Vader) in criminal activity.”
It also states RCMP failed to provide evidence to the Crown prosecutor to support the charges. The charges were never intended to go to trial, but they were laid with the intent to damage Vader’s reputation and credibility, undermine Vader’s relationship with his lawyer and increase the mental distress he was suffering from.
The statement of claim lists Berube, at least three RCMP members and the attorney general of Canada as defendants.
It states the conduct of the defendants constituted an “abuse of the criminal justice process and a flagrant abuse of their authority which was high-handed and malicious and warrants an award of aggravated and punitive damages.”
Vader is seeking $150,000.
Statements of claim contain allegations that have not been proven in court.
Vader was formally charged in April 2012 in the killings of St. Albert couple Lyle and Marie McCann, nearly two years after he was named a suspect in the killings.
The McCanns were last seen in July 2010 as they departed St. Albert, bound for British Columbia for a family visit. The burnt-out shell of their motorhome was discovered at a campground near Edson a few days later.
The McCanns’ bodies have never been found.
A six-week preliminary hearing was scheduled for September 2013 but was cancelled by the Crown in order for the case to go straight to trial.
The two-week trial begins April 28 in Edmonton.