Crown counsel is pushing for a trial to begin for a man accused of a string of violent incidents that also allegedly assaulted a female officer and two prisoners while in custody at the Okanagan Correctional Centre.
Afshin Maleki Ighani appeared in Penticton Supreme Court on Monday via video from jail asking for an adjournment on what was supposed to be a full trial on two charges, stemming from 2017, that was to take an estimated four to five days of court time.
According to court documents, it is alleged that Ighani stabbed David James McHale, a convicted child molestor, with a sharp shank. It is also alleged that Ighani assaulted Peter Beckett, who days after the incident was found guilty by a jury of first degree murder for drowning his wife at a lake near Revestoke.
Ighani is representing himself after firing the second lawyer he has worked with on this matter in July. It had been set for trial in January, however Ighani’s first lawyer asked for an adjournment due to “difficulties with instructions” he was receiving. That lawyer was eventually dismissed by his client.
Ighani said he was asking for another adjournment because he only learned on Sept. 3 from Crown counsel that two of their witnesses, Beckett and McHale, were not going to be called to trial and Ighani had wanted to cross-examine them.
Ighani explained that he will be trying to seek legal advice so he can subpoena the two witnesses to bring them to court to testify. Crown counsel John Swanson indicated that he wanted the trial to start as planned.
“If he feels that they are necessary witnesses, then we did indicate he would have to make arrangements to have them there himself. The Crown believes they are in a position to prove the case without either of the two complainants,” said Swanson.
Justice Gary Weatherill said he wants to see something positive come out of the extension he has given Ighani and is calling him back to court on Sept. 23 to see if he has obtained advice or legal counsel to represent him.
“If not, you may want to roll your sleeves up and get ready for a trial next week,” said Weatherill.
Ighani is also facing 10 charges related to an alleged armed kidnapping on April 17, 2017. That trial is set to continue in late October.
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