Day in court for correctional centre accused delayed

Special to OsoyoosToday
Penticton Herald staff


Two trials set for this week for one of the South Okanagan’s most infamous alleged criminals were put on hold after his lawyer said he may step down.

Afshin Maleki Ighani, 47, was set to appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton for two cases of alleged violence at the Okanagan Correctional Centre. Mr. Ighani is accused of stabbing two inmates and assaulting an on-duty correctional officer.

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However, Ighani’s lawyer, Paul McMurray, asked Tuesday that both matters be adjourned until Jan. 28 because he may not be able to further represent Mr. Ighani.

“Over the last several days I’ve been having discussions with . . . my client regarding these matters,” Mr. McMurray said. “I’ve reached the point with my client where, frankly, we are having some difficulties, and I am having some difficulties with my instructions.”

Mr. McMurray added that he wasn’t seeking to withdraw from his duties, but needed time to clear up some issues with his client.

“I don’t think in the circumstances I can properly fulfil my duties to Mr. Ighani or to the court if I had to press ahead now,” he added.

Crown counsel Kurt Froehlich opposed the request, telling Justice Steven Wilson the Crown had worked to secure witnesses for the day.

“Quite frankly, given the age of the files — the charges are both over 12 months old — the Crown thinks that it probably should proceed on these matters,” Mr. Froehlich said.

Justice Wilson excused himself to have time to consider the matter, but later agreed to adjourn the matter to defence counsel’s requested date.

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