Charges were withdrawn Friday against a well-known Edmonton landlord.
The case related to a large drug seizure in March 2016 in which police executed a search warrant at a business in the area of 93 Street and 111 Avenue.
A variety of drugs and drug paraphernalia were seized, including two pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of more than $80,000.
Among the three people charged was Abdullah Shah, also known as Carmen Pervez, who faced a slew of offences, including five counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of stolen property over $5,000.
In July 2016, police executed a search warrant at the same property where ammunition, an edged weapon and stolen property was seized. Shah was again arrested charged with several offences, including two counts of careless use of a firearm and possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to the public.
On Friday morning, the Crown withdrew the charges against Shah in relation to the 2016 incident.
“I believe what it says to the public is that the police are no different than any other human being. They’re capable of making mistakes, they’re capable of tunnel vision from time to time, and they’re capable of relying on perhaps reputation sometimes instead of actual evidence,” Abdullah Shah’s lawyer Paul Moreau said.
In a statement issued to Global News on Friday afternoon, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) said Crown counsel must consider two issues when deciding whether to conduct a prosecution on behalf of the federal Crown: “Is there is a reasonable prospect of conviction based on evidence that is likely to be available at trial? If there is, would a prosecution best serve the public interest?”
“If the answer to both questions is yes, the decision to prosecute test is met,” Nathalie Houle, a spokesperson for PPSC said. “If not, and charges have been laid, the charges should be withdrawn or a stay of proceedings entered.
“The charges against Mr. Shah were stayed in accordance with the policies in the PPSC Deskbook.”
Shah was previously convicted in a $30-million mortgage fraud.
He was also accused of not maintaining multiple properties he owns in and around Edmonton’s inner city.
Shah was in the courtroom Friday but didn’t speak to the media.