B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge announced Thursday that the trial of three of the accused in the October 2007 Surrey Six murders has been delayed until September.
Cody Haevischer, Matthew Johnston and Michael Le have an extra four months before they return to face charges of conspiracy and first-degree murder in the slayings that left six dead, including bystanders Chris Mohan and Ed Schellenberg. Lengthy pretrial applications and an overwhelming amount of material for the defence to review were cited as causes for the delay.
In response, Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode said she and city council are adamant about getting a community court in Surrey to help relieve the congested provincial court system.
"They're saying four months, but who knows? It could be six, it could be another year, and I think to talk to somebody like (Chris's mom) Eileen Mohan to see how much of an impact it's had on her life gives a sense of how tragic this really is," said Rasode. "I'm sure there isn't a day that goes by that this isn't both in her heart and on her mind. Same with Ed Schellenberg's family. The time is long overdue for them to receive justice."
Rasode will speak about implementing a community court at the Surrey Board of Trade's Justice Summit today (Tuesday) along with Vancouver lawyer Geoffrey Cowper and UFV criminologist Jordan Diplock. The summit will expand on how a community court could enhance the justice system and allow the provincial court to more quickly process murder trials and other big cases.
"For some time now through the City of Surrey's Crime Reduction strategy, one of the issues that's been top-of-mind for us is court reform, including a community court in Surrey," said Rasode. "Court reform is something that I think needs to be discussed in a more concerted way."