Vader launches $1-million lawsuit against prosecutors, RCMP
Accused killer alleges improper conduct by police and Crown, abuse while in detention
Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 06:00 am
Accused killer Travis Vader has launched a $1 million lawsuit against 60 people including Crown prosecutors, RCMP and the attorney general of Canada.
Filed on Tuesday in the Court of Queen’s Bench, the statement of claim alleges abuse of authority by RCMP, malicious prosecution by the Crown and mistreatment by correctional officers, sheriffs and police informants.
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.
Crown prosecutors stayed the first-degree murder charges in March, one month before trial. The Crown cancelled a six-week preliminary hearing in July 2013.
The statement of claim states RCMP and the Crown deliberately prolonged the prosecution of the homicide charges despite there being “no reasonable prospect of conviction.”
Since the RCMP were subjected to public criticism as a result of unreasonable conduct in the McCann investigation, they quickly focused their attention on him in order to restore public confidence in their competence, it states.
RCMP had a “long standing aminus” towards Vader and as a result the investigation became “tainted with tunnel vision.”
The 16-page document also describes mistreatment Vader endured while in custody in Edson and at the Edmonton Remand Centre, including physical violence, harassment and unreasonable confinement in his cell.
The conduct of the defendants “constituted an abuse of criminal justice process and a flagrant abuse of their authority which was high-handed and malicious,” it states.
It also includes allegations made in an earlier statement of claim filed in February for $150,000. That claim stated that RCMP held Vader in custody under fraudulent charges to buy them more time to gather evidence for another investigation.
Vader is now seeking $1 million in damages.
Statements of claim contain allegations that have not been proven in court.
Defendants named in the lawsuit have 20 days to file a statement of defence or a demand for notice.
Although the McCanns were legally declared dead in July 2011, their bodies have never been found.
The investigation into the disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann is still open and ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700. There is a $60,000 reward for information relating to their whereabouts.