ALBERTA

Jonathan Denis Court Hearing Open But Publication Ban Remains

04/29/2015 05:04 EDT | Updated 06/29/2015 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - A court hearing for Alberta's former justice minister and his estranged wife will not be held behind closed doors.

But a judge says a publication ban will remain in effect in the case, which led Jonathan Denis to resign his cabinet post last weekend.

"The role of the court is not censorship," Justice Craig Jones said Wednesday. "The public must be allowed to see that justice is done and, of course, the court may come to the conclusion that in-camera proceedings are necessary.

"Protection against embarrassment and possible damage to reputation are not overriding considerations in deciding to compromise the principle of open court."

The judge, however, granted a request from both sides that the publication ban remain in place.

Premier Jim Prentice asked Denis for his resignation last Saturday after learning that there were court proceedings between the former minister and his wife Breanna Palmer.

Two previous hearings have been held in private.

Denis's lawyer didn't object to the matter being held in open court. Palmer was there for the proceedings, but declined to comment.

Prentice said that requesting Denis to resign was the right thing to do.

"I did that for a very clear reason. He has a personal matter, a private matter, before the courts and everyone knows it relates to his marriage," said Prentice on a Calgary campaign stop.

"I don't think it's appropriate for him to be a private litigant, even in a family matter before the courts. So I asked him to step aside."

But Prentice has also said he has confidence in Denis as a candidate in next Tuesday's election.

Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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