The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has asked the Manitoba Prosecution Service to provide legal advice to the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) on its ongoing investigation into a 2016 death in Halifax Regional Police cells.
On June 16, 2016, Corey Rogers, 41, was found unresponsive in a police cell at 1:45 a.m. Emergency Heath Services were called but Mr. Rogers could not be revived. SIRT was then called in to investigate.
The Public Prosecution Service provides legal advice to any police agency during an investigation, when requested.
“As we examined the material being gathered by SIRT, it became apparent the prosecution service was in conflict,” said Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions. “To avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of conflict, the involvement of another prosecution service is necessary to ensure public confidence in the PPS and in the administration of justice.”
The Manitoba Crown has agreed to advise SIRT as it moves forward with its investigation and will prosecute any criminal charges that may result.
It is common practice for prosecution services across Canada to help each other in conflict cases. Currently, for example, Nova Scotia Crown attorneys are dealing with matters in Newfoundland and New Brunswick.
Source: Media Release