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B.C. Prosecution Service responds to protests

A day after over 50 people protested outside of the Williams Lake courthouse, the B.C. Prosecution Service (BCPS) has released a statement.

“The BCPS promotes public safety, justice, and the rule of law by making principled prosecutorial decisions,” the service responded via a written release. “In formulating a position on bail or sentencing, Crown Counsel must act fairly, impartially, in good faith and in accordance with the highest ethical standards.”

BCPS said that concerning bail, the decision whether to oppose or consent to bail, and on what terms, requires Crown Counsel to consider and weigh the accused, the public, and victims’ competing interests.

“All such decisions are informed by the presumption of innocence, a fundamental principle of our justice system,” they said. “The law, as set out in the Criminal Code and interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada, requires a person accused of a crime be released from custody at the earliest opportunity unless their detention is necessary to ensure the accused person attends court, for the protection or safety of the public or any victim or witness, or to maintain confidence in the administration of justice.:

BCPS added that terms of release might only be imposed to the extent that they are necessary to address concerns relating to these statutory criteria for detention and to ensure that the accused person can be released.

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