Judge fears size of evidence in alleged honour killing 0
Jassi Sidhu, 25, (seen right) was slain in June 2000 while she was hiding from her family in India because of their disapproval of her marriage to a rickshaw driver. (PHOTO FROM JUSTICE FOR JASSI)
A B.C. Supreme Court judge is worried there’s too much evidence piled into an extradition case involving the mother and uncle of a Maple Ridge woman who was murdered after she married a man of her own choosing.
Justice Gregory Fitch is presiding over hearings through Friday to determine what evidence would be acceptable in court. Jassi Sidhu, 25, was slain in June 2000. She was hiding from her family in India because of their disapproval regarding her marriage to a rickshaw driver.
Her mother Malkit Sidhu and uncle Surjit Badesha are in custody awaiting the results of the extradition hearing.
Crown lawyer Deborah Strachan told the court she intends to submit evidence from three parts: the investigation conducted by Canadian authorities, the judgment detailing the convictions in India, and evidence from the Indian prosecution’s case.
There is “hearsay” evidence part of testimony by Jassi’s friends. Crown lawyers said outside court they’re arguing to include those details in the case — something defence counsel opposes.
“The passage of time, the lack of records … I’d say as a general proposition their evidence is not reliable,” said Badesha’s lawyer Michael Klein.
The judge is concerned there’s simply too much paperwork to wade through.
“There’s a real risk here the volume overloads the adjudicator’s function,” Fitch said.
If returned to India the pair could face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, according to RCMP lead investigator Sgt. Dave Chauhan.
Eleven people were previously arrested and tried for the same charge in India, he said, with seven convicted.