Court hears bid to toss Ibrahim Ali's first-degree murder verdict over delays

Asked to toss murder verdict

The lawyer for a man found guilty of killing a 13-year-old Burnaby, B.C., girl is asking a judge to stay the jury's verdict over unreasonable delays in getting the man to trial.

Ibrahim Ali has been in custody and charged with first-degree murder for more than 63 months, which his lawyer Kevin McCullough told a B.C. Supreme Court judge is more than double the allowable threshold set out by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Ali's lawyer brought the so-called Jordan application in an attempt to stay the proceedings on the grounds it took too long for their client to get to trial, a limit Canada's High Court has set at 30 months.

If granted, Ali would go free without sentencing.

Ali, who appeared by video wearing an orange sweat suit and medical gloves, was found guilty on Dec. 8, less than 24 hours after jurors' deliberations began, and he now faces a mandatory life term with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The body of the girl, whose name is covered by a publication ban, was found in Burnaby's Central Park in July 2017, and he was charged about one year later.

There were about three years of pretrial proceedings before Ali entered a plea of not guilty on April 5, 2023.

The trial saw several adjournments for various reasons, including the mental and physical health struggles of a defendant, the death of an expert witness before she could complete her testimony, cases of COVID-19 and other illness among jurors, as well as violent threats against Ali’s lawyers, which caused it to drag out for eight months.

More BC News