Ontario judge reprimanded for freeing defendants because prosecutor was late

Originally posted on National Post | News:

An Ontario judge who acquitted a group of criminals because the crown attorney was late returning from a break has received a strongly worded reprimand for his actions from the province’s highest court.

Newmarket court Judge Howard Chisvin had “no power” to release the criminals with an acquittal simply because prosecutor Brian McCallion was late returning to court after a 20 minute recess, the Ontario Court of Appeal said in their decision released Monday.

“It was illegal and an abuse of judicial authority,” three appeal court judges wrote in their decision. “Furthermore, even if the power existed, there was no basis upon which to make the order on the facts of this case.  The trial judge’s actions were highhanded and did a real disservice to the proper administration of justice.”

The trial for Mauro Siciliano, who had pleaded guilty to three charges including uttering a threat, possession of stolen property…

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