BC judge denies convicted murderer's bid for case dismissal amid trial delay claims

This decision by Justice Lance Bernard follows a motion filed by defence lawyer Kevin McCullough that Ali's case has seen unreasonable trial delays.

BC judge denies convicted murderer's bid for case dismissal amid trial delay claims
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A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has rejected a bid to overturn the conviction of Ibrahim Ali for the first-degree murder of a young teenage girl in Burnaby, B.C.

This decision comes amidst claims from Ali's defence team of unreasonable trial delays. 

Justice Lance Bernard delivered the ruling, which follows a motion filed by defence lawyer Kevin McCullough, Global News reported on Thursday.

The motion aimed to dismiss Ali's conviction due to what the defence argued were excessively long delays in bringing the case to trial. The Crown blamed these delays on the defence, as well as "exceptional events" including the pandemic. 

Ali's conviction stems from a horrific incident in July 2017 when the body of a 13-year-old girl was discovered in Burnaby's Central Park. Last December, a jury found Ali guilty of first-degree murder, accepting the prosecution's contention that he sexually assaulted and strangled the victim shortly after arriving in Canada as a Syrian refugee.

The case garnered attention not only for its harrowing details but also for the prolonged legal proceedings.

The victim's family endured nearly six years of waiting before the trial concluded, with numerous pre-trial and in-trial delays exacerbating the ordeal.

The defence's Jordan application sought to stay the proceedings on the grounds of failure to adhere to the 30-month trial time frame. McCullough argued that the delays were unjustifiable, given the severity of the charges against Ali and the impact of prolonged legal proceedings on both the defendant and the victim's family.

Despite these arguments, Justice Bernard upheld Ali's conviction, signalling that the court was not swayed by the defence's claims of unreasonable delay.

The reasons behind the ruling have not yet been made public.

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