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Extortion charge for Hells Angel

A full-patch member of the Hells Angels will be facing extortion and theft charges after all following a ruling that says the B.C. man's charter rights were violated because the case took too long to get to trial.

The provincial criminal justice branch says Robert Widdifield appeared in court in Nanaimo, B.C., on Friday and that his trial has been scheduled for nine days starting Oct. 6.

In staying the charges, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled in June 2013 that the Crown contributed to the delay in proceedings with its errors in disclosure and should have proceeded to trial against Widdifield alone, instead of with his three co-accused.

The Crown appealed the decision and it was overturned by the court of appeal, which said the Crown was responsible for only part of the delay.

Widdifield was charged with extortion, theft and possession of stolen property in what the Crown said was an attempt to get someone to repay a claimed debt.

He and three others linked to the Hells Angels were charged in October 2010, and the trial was scheduled to start in October 2012 but was then put off until last fall.

The Canadian Press

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