NEW - R. v. Cheung, 2000 ABPC 86 (CanLII).

  • June 09, 2000

Date: 2000-06-09. Maher, J. | Link

The issue is whether the three accused are entitled to paper and tape recordings, in addition to the electronic disclosure that was already produced. The applicants are three of the 34 accused jointly charged with a variety of offences, including conspiracy with all the other accused, and participating in a criminal organization. The Crown has about 40,000 pages of documents, including English language transcripts of 4,000 non-English audio intercepted communications. There are an additional 146,000 audio intercepted communications. To accommodate the accused who are in custody, the Crown has arranged for three interview rooms to be equipped with a computer that provides access to the same electronic disclosure provided to counsel. 10 hours are available for day for access to these three interview rooms. The unrepresented accused who are in custody have no ability to make hard copies of the documents. The accused represented by counsel can make hard copies, although cost is a factor, especially for those who have retained counsel with a Legal Aid Certificate. The court concluded that there is not enough computer time available to the accused in custody to allow them to fully access the Crown’s disclosure. Although the Crown is under no obligation to provide a particular form of disclosure, if the accused is unable to access the material, the disclosure is not meaningful. The Crown is ordered to provide paper and audio tape disclosure because “while electronic or soft copy disclosure may now in the 21st Century be considered a usual form also, in the circumstances of this case, it is not accessible to the accused”.