Basran hires prominent lawyer to defend sex assault charge

Basran's first court date

Madison Erhardt

Former Kelowna mayor Colin Basran had his first scheduled court date Tuesday on a single charge of sexual assault.

Basran was not present for the brief appearance held in a small courtroom off the main lobby of the Kelowna courthouse.

Neither were the attorneys, Crown special prosecutor Brock Martland and Basran's own high-powered Vancouver lawyer Richard Peck.

Peck was represented in the brief hearing by attorney Lydia Chu.

Chu told the court that lawyers had just received the evidence in the case, and asked that a next appearance be set in four weeks to allow them time to review the particulars

A next appearance was scheduled for Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.

Peck, 74, has presided over many high-profile criminal cases.

He successfully defended former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum on assault charges two years ago and the accused in the Air India bombing. He was also lead counsel for Meng Wanzhou in her extradition case.

The BC Prosecution Service announced Dec. 7, 2022 Basran had been charged with sexual assault in relation to an incident in the city on May 11, 2022, while he was the sitting mayor.

The Kelowna RCMP led the investigation before turning the file over to the Nelson Police Department for review.

Vancouver-based Brock Martland was later appointed special prosecutor to avoid any potential for improper influence considering the nature of the allegation and the fact Basran was a sitting mayor at the time.

Basran served 11 years on city council, the last eight as mayor before being soundly beaten by Tom Dyas during last October's civic election.

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