Charges for prison attack

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.

Crown prosecutors dropped the attempted murder and firearms charges against Afshin Ighani Monday in Penticton court. Full story here

ORIGINAL 9:05 a.m.

A man charged with attempted murder for a shooting in Oliver earlier this year is facing new charges for allegedly stabbing two other high-profile inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre.

Two counts each of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm were sworn against Afshin Ighani on Friday, alleging he attacked two other inmates at the prison on Sept. 9.

One of the victim of the alleged attack, 69-year-old David McHale is now suing the prison for failing to properly protect him. McHale pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual interference of minors in April.

In his lawsuit filed last month, McHale alleges the attack occurred when a corrections officer failed to properly secure a gate to the yard where he was.

A few minutes later, an inmate burst through the door.

“He looked around and focused on me. He came towards me, and proceeded to stab at me with a sharp shank and punch my head," the lawsuit states.

McHale names his attacker in the lawsuit as “Gagnes Ighani," and says he suffered cuts to his hands and arm.

Court documents name the second victim as Peter Beckett, who was at OCC while he was on trial for the drowning murder of his wife. A Kelowna jury found him guilty of first-degree murder seven days after the prison assault.

Ighani will appear in court today for a preliminary inquiry into the long list of charges he is facing for the original shooting in Oliver, and an alleged kidnapping in Princeton.

However, the attempted murder charges for the shooting are in jeopardy after the victim and Crown’s key witness Thomas Szajko died on Dec. 1 of an unrelated cause.

Crown prosecutor John Swanson is expected to announce today whether he will proceed with his attempted-murder case against Ighani. The charges for an alleged kidnapping, carjacking and police chase in Princeton several days later are unaffected.

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