Half of the charges against a local man and RCMP officer with the elite major crime unit were dropped this week as an investigation continues into the officers who charged him.
Kelly Tony John Gulaga was arrested last September and charged with five counts of assault, one count of forcible confinement and several weapons offences.
Crown prosecutor Jayme Williams, who has been specially assigned to the case from Calgary, appeared Monday in St. Albert Provincial Court and withdrew most of those charges.
The three weapons offences were put over for two weeks, but the five charges of assault and the single count of unlawful confinement were withdrawn.
The charges were originally set for trial in May, but in April the Crown and defence told the court the trial would have to be cancelled. Both sides said the delay was necessary because the investigators who had pressed the charges against Gulaga were now under investigation themselves.
The officers who charged Gulaga were members of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), a provincial body specifically set up to look into matters involving police conduct.
RCMP officers initially passed the case to ASIRT in July of last year. The assault allegations that have now been dismissed surrounded a string of apparent assaults between February 2007 and January 2009.
Clifton Purvis, the civilian director for ASIRT, said he was aware some of the charges were going to be withdrawn, but declined to comment because Gulaga still faces other charges.
He said he was also aware about the outstanding complaints against the ASIRT officers, but the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) was handling them.
“Mr. Gulaga has made complaints about ASIRT investigators and some of them relate to criminal allegations and some of them relate to code of conduct allegations and those matters are being investigated by an agency outside of mine.”
The ASIRT officers in this case, as well as the alleged victim were all EPS members. ASIRT passed the investigation back to their original department when the issue arose rather than investigating their own officers.
Purvis said he could provide no updates because it wasn’t under his supervision.
“I am not in control of that investigation and where it is I honestly don’t know.”
EPS spokesperson Karen Carlson said the investigation into these allegations is ongoing and she had no further updates.
The outstanding charges against Gulaga are all related to a .357 calibre Smith & Wesson gun that was allegedly found in his St. Albert home.
The charges allege he was authorized to carry it, but not permitted to have it at his home.