NEWS

Justin Bourque evidence to be made public, judge rules

12/05/2014 03:58 EST | Updated 02/04/2015 05:59 EST
A New Brunswick judge has ruled all court exhibits related to the sentencing of Moncton Mountie killer Justin Bourque will be released to the media.

Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice David Smith's decision was released on Friday.

CBC News and The Canadian Press sought to have the video, audio and other documents made public after the Crown and defence applied to have them sealed.

"There is no evidence submitted by the Crown or counsel for the defence which would demonstrate that it is in the interest of the administration of justice to ban the video of the offender’s confession or to ban the exhibits," Smith stated in his 11-page decision.

“Canadian courts, as a general rule, are open and transparent. The open-court principle is important in that it allows the public to go behind court decisions to see what further determined or influenced its decision; in other words, why the court decided what it did,” he said.

Media lawyer David Coles had argued the information should be released because it is important in helping the public understand what happened.

Bourque, 24, was sentenced in October to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years for killing three RCMP officers in Moncton on June 4 and wounding two others.

It is the longest sentence without parole eligibility in Canadian history.

Bourque had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

The documents to be released include Bourque’s statement to police, a video a citizen captured of one of the officers being shot, photos depicting the officers’ injuries, and audio of police radio transmissions.

The RCMP officers who were killed on June 4 were:

- Const. Douglas James Larche, 40, from Saint John.

- Const. Dave Joseph Ross, 32, from Victoriaville, Que.

- Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, originally from Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

The officers who were wounded were:

- Const. Éric Stéphane J. Dubois.

- Const. Marie Darlene Goguen.

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