Azam Kabani, charged in relation to a string of fatal overdoses in Saskatoon, has been released with conditions for a second time.
The 20-year-old British Columbia man was granted bail in March 2018, while facing numerous drug trafficking and weapons charges after police alleged he was one of three people to deal cocaine laced with fentanyl.
Four people died of fentanyl overdoses on March 10, 2018, which Saskatoon police said were due to the laced drugs. Three others recovered after receiving medical treatment.
Kabani, 20-year-old Shervin Beeharry and 22-year-old Japmanjot Grewal have since been charged with the following offences:
- four counts of manslaughter;
- four counts of criminal negligence causing death; and
- three counts criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Kabani was taken into custody in New Westminster, B.C., to return to Saskatoon provincial court for a bail hearing Wednesday. The Crown consented to his release.
What was said during Kabani’s hearing can’t be reported due to a routine and mandatory publication ban.
In addition to the $7,500 cash bail granted last year, the court ordered Wednesday that another $7,500 be deposited. He must abide by some of the same conditions, including a ban on having a smartphone. He is now allowed to call and text, but cannot password-protect his cell phone.
Last year, defence lawyer Mark Brayford indicated his client will plead not guilty to the drug trafficking and weapons offences.
“I can say, unequivocally, my client will be pleading not guilty,” Brayford told reporters Wednesday when asked for his stance on the new charges.
Police revealed more details of the allegations last week, including that two survivors told the dealer that the cocaine was tainted and something was wrong.
Despite the warning, police said there was at least one additional sale that led to two fatal overdoses.
Beeharry and Grewal were denied release last year and remain in custody at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. They are barred from speaking with each other and both are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
Kabani, who also has a no-contact order with the co-accused, has another court date scheduled for March 13.