JP dismisses assault charge against Qikiqtani business leader

Complainant did not appear at Harry Flaherty’s assault trial last month

A trial over an assault charge against QC’s president, Harry Flaherty, was dismissed last month when the complainant failed to attend. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

A Nunavut justice of the peace has dismissed an assault charge against the well-known head of a prominent Inuit birthright corporation after the complainant, a woman, did not show up for the trial.

Harry Flaherty, 59, the long-time president of Qikiqtaaluk Corp., the business arm of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, was charged with assaulting the woman in June 2018. He pleaded not guilty last fall.

A trial was set for the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on June 26.

But the process ended without a trial and the charges were dismissed when the complainant did not attend court that day, the Crown prosecutor’s office told Nunatsiaq News.

The Crown then asked for an adjournment, but the justice of the peace denied that application, leaving the Crown unable to prove its case.

One of the factors that the justice of the peace must consider in an adjournment application due to the non-attendance of a witness is whether there is a reasonable expectation that this person would attend a future trial date. In this case, the justice did not consider that likely.

The Crown has 30 days from June 26 to decide whether or not to appeal.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Patriarchy on

    It’s too bad that procedure has let some one off the hook who very well may have committed a serious crime. Thus is the construction of our patriarchal justice system.

    • Posted by Paul Murphy on

      Wrong! Neither of us know the facts other than as published. However, how long must an accused wait for the claimant to show up? She knew when the court day was. If she had a valid reason for not showing up, she has a responsibility to advise the Crown. Seems that the Crowns reasoning did not meet that standard for a postponement

  2. Posted by Subpoena on

    Paul, you’re quick to pass judgement in this case as a past JP, pretty biased it seems. What we do know is the incident happened over a year ago, trial date set from October of that year delayed a full 9 months after court proceedings, the victim was his childs mother, 9 months is unusually long isn’t it? Did the accused have a no contact order with the victim? The JP in this case had the option to use the subpoena for the victim to testify why wasn’t it enforced or used? There is something fishy here and you just stunk it up Paul!

    • Posted by Paul Murphy on

      Not at all subpoena. I suggested first hand that none of us has all the facts of the case. So I would suggest you follow up with the case and speak to the Crown. Who asked for the time that created a 9 month wait? Why would the victim not show up? A no contact order doesn’t seem to have a bearing here. The lawyers and the JP have the answers. Not you and I.

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