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B.C. gets go-ahead to pursue polygamy charge against Winston Blackmore

Vancouver Sun logo Vancouver Sun 2015-06-25 (c) Postmedia Network Inc.
Polygamist Winston Blackmore from Bountiful already faces criminal charges. With the investigation into the polygamist community continuing, the proposed new changes to the Criminal Code could be used in Bountiful quickly. B.C. gets go-ahead to pursue polygamy charge against Winston Blackmore

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Supreme Court has thrown out a bid by a lawyer for Winston Blackmore to have a polygamy charge against him dismissed.

The leader of a fundamentalist Mormon sect in southeastern B.C. is accused of polygamy for having more than two dozen wives.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen has ruled that the province can proceed with a prosecution against the Bountiful, B.C., leader for historical acts of polygamy dating back more than four decades.

Blackmore’s lawyer petitioned the court to dismiss the charge recommended against him in 2012 by arguing that the province appointed a series of special prosecutors until it found one who would recommend a polygamy charge.

Cullen has ruled that the mandate of the most recent special prosecutor was sufficiently different from those of his predecessors and allowed the charge to stand.

Blackmore’s most recent marriage took place a full decade before a 2011 reference question concluded that Canada’s laws forbidding polygamy did not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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