POLITICS

Manitoba Mountie accused of threatening colleague who married ex-girlfriend

11/05/2013 10:17 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
WINNIPEG - The trial for a Manitoba RCMP officer charged with uttering threats against a fellow Mountie who married his former girlfriend has been adjourned until February.

Const. David Obirek, who is 43, has been suspended with pay for the past 25 months.

Obirek is accused of sending several text messages to his ex-wife in August 2011 in which he allegedly spoke of wanting Const. Landon Durston dead.

He was allegedly angry over the fact Durston had started dating his ex-girlfriend, who was a civilian member of the RCMP.

Defence lawyer Bruce Bonney told court last week that the texts his client is accused of sending appear pretty ugly on the surface, with words such as "kill."

But he asked for the trial to be adjourned because he says texts that Oberik's ex-wife received and deleted will shed light on the context in which the texts were sent.

Winnipeg police now have the technology to recover these deleted BlackBerry messages, he said.

"This is highly relevant information we can probably get back verbatim. In the interests of justice, for this man to be able to defend himself, he needs this adjournment," said Bonney.

Special Crown prosecutor Danny Gunn was opposed, saying the trial should proceed as scheduled. But provincial court Judge Anne Krahn said she was "reluctantly" agreeing to delay the trial until Feb. 27.

Durston is pretty frustrated over the pace of the trial. He said he and his wife were forced to leave Manitoba out of safety concerns and a slow-moving judicial system — he was granted an out-of-province transfer, and now he and his wife live in Red Deer, Alta.

"There was talk about having me followed, about taking me out and having me killed," Durston said about the texts.

"It's so frustrating. You try to do stuff the right way but this is what happens."

(Winnipeg Free Press)