Man deported to India for sex conviction wants to return to Canada to pursue exoneration

Published: February 25, 2013

WENDY COX
THE CANADIAN PRESS

RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy of Surrey, shown in a December 2012 file photo, apologized Wednesday for errors made in the investigation of a 2004 sex assault that erroneously led to the conviction and deportation to India of Gurdev Singh Dhillon, who has since said he would like to return to Canada and fight the misscarriage of justice. Ric Ernst/PNG files

VANCOUVER — The lawyer for a man at the centre of a miscarriage of justice in a gang-rape case says his client wants to return to Canada and appeal the conviction.

Gurdev Singh Dhillon was convicted of sexual assault for his role in the July 2004 attack on a woman in Surrey, B.C., and was deported to India in 2008 after his appeal was dismissed.

But lawyer Paul Briggs says new information released Wednesday by the criminal justice branch could have exonerated his client.

“Spoke to him this morning, in fact,” said Briggs on Friday. “He’s expressed a desire to return to Canada and pursue any and all legal remedies that he may have.”

But before any appeal can be launched, Briggs said he will have to obtain evidence that has not yet been disclosed to him.

Neil MacKenzie, spokesman for the criminal justice branch, said officials became aware in 2011 that evidence about the case was not disclosed to the Crown, and therefore not disclosed to the defendant.

The RCMP said it was their own review of the case that year that raised a red flag and determined that the initial investigation “did not sufficiently consider additional avenues regarding other potential suspects.”

The sexual assault was described by the B.C. Appeal Court as “violent and serious” and resulted in making the 19-year-old pregnant.

Court heard she’d met two men at a party several months earlier and had spoken to them over the telephone before she agreed to go out with them.

Briggs said court heard the girl was taken to the apartment of a third man, Dhillon.

The Appeal Court judgment said once there, she was subjected to a prolonged sexual assault and was physically beaten and threatened with death.

Dhillon’s trial lawyer, who was not Briggs, told court that Dhillon was “hanging in the background most of the time,” the court decision said.

Briggs said the trial was told the woman went to hospital where she was examined by a nurse and her underwear was an exhibit at the trial.

The Crown never submitted any results of tests done on the underwear but Briggs said it now appears a DNA test was done on the piece of clothing and never passed on.

“It turns out, one was done and I don’t know when it was done,” Briggs said.

“All I know is that after Mr. Dhillon was convicted, his DNA was compared to these other two and found not to match and that was sometime in June 2006.”

Briggs argued the appeal in October 2006 and lost.

“If I had had that report, I could have submitted that as fresh evidence to the Court of Appeal, and I believe I would have been successful in overturning that conviction on the basis of that report.”

RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, the officer in charge of the Surrey detachment, said the mistakes are a concern to the force, as well as the public and he apologized Wednesday.

The case was referred to a special prosecutor in 2011 and earlier this month, sexual assault charges were approved against two men.

The two are scheduled to appear in court in Surrey on April 5.

Tags: , , ,




Featured

football-100year journey

B.C.’s South Asian pioneer Ranjit Mattu mentored many football stars

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Even as a child, Ranjit Mattu knew he had game. From his first play on the field of Mount Pleasant Elementary,…
Continue Reading »

pioneers

Dharm Singh Gill changed the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing turbans at work

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Little did Dharm Singh Gill realize that an act of heroism would change the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing their…
Continue Reading »

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

A look at Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s first cabinet

THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — A look at Alberta’s NDP cabinet sworn in Sunday: Rachel Notley (Edmonton Strathcona) Premier, minister of intergovernmental affairs. Notley, 51,…
Continue Reading »

Japan-Canada trade talks stalled with no meetings in sight

By Mike Blanchfield THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Trade talks have stalled between Canada and Japan — one of the Harper government’s priority countries for…
Continue Reading »

football-100year journey

B.C.’s South Asian pioneer Ranjit Mattu mentored many football stars

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Even as a child, Ranjit Mattu knew he had game. From his first play on the field of Mount Pleasant Elementary,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »