Ibrahim Ali trial: Judge tells B.C. jury to disregard testimony of witness who died

Click to play video: 'Judge throws out testimony of Crown witness at Ibrahim Ali trial'
Judge throws out testimony of Crown witness at Ibrahim Ali trial
The judge at the trial of the man accused of killing a young Burnaby teen in 2017 has ordered the jury to disregard the previous testimony of a Crown witness who died. Rumina Daya explains. – Nov 7, 2023

The judge in the first-degree murder trial of Ibrahim Ali, who is accused of killing a Burnaby, B.C., teenager six years ago, has told the jury to completely disregard the testimony of a witness who died before the end of her cross-examination.

Dr. Tracy Pickett, a sexual assault expert called by the Crown, had not finished testifying when she was found dead on Sept. 28.

Click to play video: 'Foul play not suspected in missing doctor’s death'
Foul play not suspected in missing doctor’s death

Justice Lance Bernard has instructed the jury to disregard Pickett’s testimony and to resist all speculation or research into her death.

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He says Pickett’s unexpected death significantly curtailed cross-examination by defence lawyers and his instructions to the jury recognize the importance of cross-examination as a cornerstone of the adversarial justice system.

Bernard told the jury that Pickett’s death and its circumstances are not relevant to their deliberations and the trial will continue in B.C. Supreme Court as though she had never testified.

Ali has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder for the death of a young teen girl, whose name has been protected by a publication ban.

Click to play video: 'Ibrahim Ali trial hears from mother of deceased girl'
Ibrahim Ali trial hears from mother of deceased girl

The girl’s body was found in a Burnaby, B.C., park in July 2017, hours after her mother reported her missing.

Crown attorney Isobel Keeley told the court during her opening statement in April that evidence would show the teen was walking through the park when she was dragged off a pathway into the forest, then sexually assaulted and strangled.

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Keeley said cellphone and bank records prove Ali was in Burnaby that day, while DNA results would prove he sexually assaulted the girl.

Bernard told the jury last month that when Pickett didn’t show up to finish her cross-examination, the court wasn’t aware that she had died.


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