APPEALS - Miscarriage of justice - Powers of appellate court - To receive new evidence

Law360 Canada (March 16, 2023, 6:56 AM EDT) -- Motion by Jaser requesting production of post-sentence psychiatric report pertaining to his co-accused, Esseghaier. Jaser and his co-accused Esseghaier were convicted of terrorism-related offences in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Jaser raised several issues including Esseghaier’s fitness to stand trial. Jaser sought production of a psychiatric assessment of Esseghaier prepared post-sentence at the request of amicus. Jaser’s counsel submitted that there was a reasonable possibility, if not a likelihood, that the report would speak of Esseghaier’s fitness to stand trial. Further, his counsel submitted that were the court to receive the evidence and determine that Esseghaier was unfit to stand trial, that finding would compel the conclusion that Jaser did not receive a fair trial and his convictions must be quashed as a miscarriage of justice.  The Crown opposed the motion, submitting that Esseghaier’s fitness to stand trial was the subject of two detailed reports adduced on sentencing and that there was no reason to think that a third report would shed any new light on his mental state at trial....
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