Saint John, N.B., police chief asks ex-Mountie to review wrongful conviction of 2 men

  • Canadian Press

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Saint John’s police chief says he has launched a review of his force’s conduct in the wrongful murder convictions of two New Brunswick men.

Robert Bruce says he has asked retired RCMP officer Allen Farrah to conduct a comprehensive review of how investigators handled the case against Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie.

Gillespie, 80, and Mailman, 76, were acquitted last week of a 1983 murder for which they both served lengthy prison terms.

Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of New Brunswick’s Court of King’s Bench called the case a miscarriage of justice and offered the two men an apology.

An advocacy group for the wrongfully convicted has highlighted a series of problems in the case, including recanted testimony by key witnesses, evidence withheld from the defence, substandard forensic evidence and a disregard for the men’s solid alibi.

Bruce says he has also asked the federal Justice Department for a copy of its report on the case, which led the justice minister to overturn the convictions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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