Interpreter needed for fair trial, judge rules

P.R. court docket
Feb. 3, 2020
Judge Claus Thietke

It was a busy day in Peace River provincial court on Feb. 3 with multiple trial dates set.
Judge Claus Thietke heard the case of Mohammed Alghazawi, who argued through his lawyer that his right to be tried within a reasonable amount of time have been violated.
Alghazawi is charged with nine counts of sexual assault and nine counts of unlawful harassment. He first appeared in court on May 28, 2018.
The main issue with his trials has been finding the correct interpreter. Judge Thietke deemed an interpreter is necessary for a fair trial, and needs to be an Arabic interpreter skilled in Lebanese. The first interpreter found spoke the Iraqi dialect, not Lebanese, meaning Alghazawi’s first trial couldn’t proceed. During his second trial date on Nov. 26, 2019 the interpreter couldn’t attend and there was no time to find a different interpreter.
Judge Thietke ruled that the trials were not able to proceed due to exceptional circumstances despite all efforts to get an interpreter, and there would be no judicial remedy.
Alghazawi’s trial date will be April 16.

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Ronald Cloutier and his co-accused Thomas Cloutier, Ember Brewster, and Shantelle Barclay also appeared in court.
All accused were charged by police with running a chop shop near Girouxville.
Cloutier has been denied bail and remains in custody. Warrants were initially issued for co-accused Jennifer Emard for being absent, but she attended court in person later in the day. All of the accused will appear in court again Feb. 24 to speak to all matters.

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Michael James Hill appeared via CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre and will be tried in Fairview provincial court on April 29 at 10 a.m. on multiple charges of assault, robbery, and mischief.
He has entered pleas of not guilty.

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Lance Schasees has pleaded not guilty to assault causing bodily harm. His trial is set for Apr. 30.

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Skyle Laboucan will be in Peace River provincial court again on June 23 for trial.
Laboucan is charged with multiple counts of making death threats, assault with a weapon, theft of a motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer, possession of stolen property and more.

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Norman James Okemow will appear for trial on June 25 on six counts of uttering threats of bodily harm.

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Aurea Paul has pleaded not guilty to two assault charges and will be tried in June 25.

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Clifford Smith entered a plea of not guilty to failing to comply with release conditions and mischief damage and will have his trial June 25.

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Colton Cardinal has entered not guilty pleas on multiple counts of assault and property mischief. His trial is set for June 30.

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Dalton Schmidt also pleaded not guilty to multiple assault charges and will be in court for trial on Aug. 11.

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Freemin Carifelle will return to court Feb. 24 to enter pleas on 11 counts of assault, another four counts of assault and another 11 counts of assault, as well as resisting arrest, flight from a peace officer, driving a motor vehicle while prohibited, failing to comply with conditions, and failure to appear in court.

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Warrants were issued for Claudia Grey and Tharan Soroka for failing to appear in court.
Grey is charged with assault and possession. Soroka’s matter is a Fish & Wildlife issue.

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