Trial faces delay until 2018

The Jonathan Bacon murder trial could be delayed until the new year.

After several delays, the first-degree murder trial for Jason McBride, Michael Jones and Jujhar Khun-Khun began in May, almost six years after Bacon was shot dead outside the Delta Grand Hotel on Aug. 14, 2011.

The complex trial has faced more delays since it began, but another lengthy delay is expected after this week.

“In the most optimistic of scenarios, we are at the very least bumping up against Christmas break before we're likely to be able to entertain reconvening the trial proper,” Justice Allan Betton said Tuesday.

“From a planning prospective, I just don't know how we get to the trial proper until the new year, realistically.”

The remaining Crown witnesses, all of whom were involved in criminal activity prior to their co-operation with the Crown, must have their statements to their RCMP handlers vetted by the witness protection program, before their statements are turned over to defence and Crown counsels.

The vetting process ensures no information is included in the statements that could lead to the witnesses' whereabouts.

The witness protection program is currently dedicating one-third of its resources to vetting these statements.

“It's apparent that resources have been brought to bear and things are being done as quickly as they can,” Betton said.

This vetting process wasn't ordered until August, resulting in the delays that are now being faced. 

Following Wednesday's sitting, the court plans to take the following two weeks off, and meet on Nov. 4 to assess where it's at with respect to the vetting process.

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