Top court orders new trial for francophone B.C. man who was not given French option

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court is ordering a new trial for a francophone man in British Columbia who says he was not informed of his right to have a trial in the official language of his choice.

The top court ruled 5−2 in the decision released today.

Franck Yvan Tayo Tompouba appealed his sexual assault conviction on the basis that his language rights were violated because he was not told his trial could be conducted in French.

The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed the case, so he brought it to the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Richard Wagner says in the decision that the court erred in saying it was the accused’s responsibility to prove that his language rights had been violated.

The court quashed his conviction and ordered that a new trial be held in French.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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