EDMONTON – Just over a month after his murder charges were stayed in connection with the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, Travis Vader is now suing a long list of people.
His lawsuit alleges misconduct by RCMP, the maltreatment of Vader by correctional guards, and malicious prosecution by crown prosecutors. Jail informants are also named among the 59 defendants.
The 16-page Statement of Claim was filed in court earlier this week by the Engel Law office. It reads, in part:
“The conduct of the Defendants or any of them constituted an abuse of the criminal justice process and a flagrant abuse of their authority which was high-handed and malicious and warrants an award of aggravated and punitive damages.”
“In terms of what we’re asking for, we’re asking for over a million dollars in damages,” said Vader’s lawyer, Thomas Engel.
Shortly after the McCanns’ burnt-out motorhome was found just south of Edson in July 2010, Vader was named a person of interest in the couple’s disappearance.
He was taken into custody on unrelated charges that month; then later charged in the deaths of the two St. Albert seniors, whose bodies have never been found.
Vader’s legal counsel says it believes authorities went to extreme measures because they were desperate.
“The theory is that they were trying to keep him in jail to exert a lot of pressure on him,” Engel said. “They definitely went to great lengths to keep him in jail.
“This is the theory of the plaintiff, Vader, that one of the reasons why the RCMP were so aggressive on this is because they botched it from the beginning.
“[They wanted to] rehabilitate their reputation, I suppose. They had to get their man.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court, and none of the defendants have yet been served.
Vader’s legal counsel says this will likely be a very complicated case, and that it will probably be several years before it ever goes to trial.
The McCann family declined to speak with Global News about the lawsuit, saying they first would like a chance to speak with the RCMP.
Vader, meanwhile, remains in jail on charges unrelated to the McCann case.
You can read his full Statement of Claim below:
With files from Ross Neitz, Global News