David Stephan wants the province to pay more than $1 million in previous legal costs and another $3 million to cover his and his wife’s upcoming retrial in the death of their son.
Stephan and his wife, Collet, appeared via video link in a Calgary courtroom Thursday to schedule the hearing in which he wants those costs paid, or their charges thrown out.
Stephan also indicated he wants the charges dismissed because the RCMP “leaked” a defence file to the Crown.
Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Beth Hughes scheduled a Jan. 18 hearing in Lethbridge for Stephan to present his case.
In a notice filed Tuesday, Stephan said the couple is entitled to have their legal costs paid after their previous convictions were overturned and the Supreme Court last May ordered a new trial.
“We do not anticipate being able to defend ourselves without a great deal of assistance and will not have the financial means to obtain said assistance without being compensated for the cost of, and punitive damages being awarded for the prior trial,” Stephan said in his court filing.
“The accused have liquidated their assets, are in debt to previous counsel from the last trial and do not have the money to obtain the needed assistance required to provide them with a fair trial.”
The notice seeks an order that all previous legal expenses be paid by Alberta Justice.
In an affidavit in support of his application Stephan says those funds are in excess of $1 million.
He also told Hughes he wants the charges against him and his wife dismissed because the RCMP gave the Crown copies of the defence file.
“We have recently been made aware through the issuance of the Crown disclosure that the Crown has obtained, through illicit means, privileged information that entails an extensive amount of our defence file,” he said in his affidavit.
He told Hughes the leak of more than 700 pages of the defence file should result in their charges being tossed.
“We’ll be moving forward for a complete dismissal based upon our defence file being leaked,” Stephan said.
In May, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial for the Stephans, who were convicted of failing to provide the necessaries of life to their 19-month-old son, Ezekiel, who died in 2012.
The new trial was ordered after lawyers argued contrary evidence from medical experts led the trial judge to issue a misleading charge and did not “give the jury the tools that they needed to decide this case properly.”
A new hearing is scheduled to begin June 3.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts
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