BRITISH COLUMBIA

Jamie Bacon's Rights Violated, Judge Rules

10/03/2012 08:46 EDT | Updated 12/03/2012 05:12 EST
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A B.C. Supreme Court judge has sided with Jamie Bacon in his fight with provincial corrections officials, saying the accused killer's rights were violated when jailhouse conversations with his lawyer were secretly recorded.

Bacon is serving time in a federal facility on a weapons conviction and is also awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the so-called Surrey Six slaying in October 2007. But the privacy breaches in question occurred while he was at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre .

In a ruling that's part of a legal dispute dating back to 2009, Justice Mark McEwan ruled jail officials broke one of the cardinal laws of the justice system — solicitor-client privilege.

McEwan found they breached Bacon's Charter rights to life, liberty and security.

The judge stopped short of ordering the pretrial centre to overhaul its telephone recording system, but if Bacon returns there, he's now won the right to make calls to his lawyer on a system that can't be recorded.

McEwan ordered the recordings be handed over because there's no valid reason to keep them and also ruled that Bacon is entitled to financial compensation to be determined later.

Bacon's oldest brother Jonathan was shot to death in a gang hit in Kelowna in August 2011, and his other brother Jarrod is serving a 12-year-sentence on drug trafficking charges.