Appeal decision to come in writing
Lawyers attacked "illegal detention and seizure"

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 23/97) - The appeals of Roger Warren's murder convictions ended late Wednesday, after just two days of arguments.

Three Court of Appeal judges will now review the submissions before ruling on whether Warren will be granted a new trial. It is not known when their written ruling will be handed down.

Warren was convicted of murdering nine miners on Sept. 18, 1992, during the Giant Mine strike and is appealing the verdict based on numerous points of law.

The Crown is appealing the conviction as Warren was found guilty of second-degree murder rather that the original charge of first-degree murder.

Second-degree convictions usually involve murders committed without premeditation -- something the Crown argues planting a bomb would require.

Warren's lawyers attacked what they consider to be the illegal detention of Warren without allowing him to contact a lawyer immediately, and illegal search and seizure of evidence.

Lawyer Glenn Orris said Warren denied planting the bomb in the mine during 16 interviews with RCMP, so why did he suddenly confess on Oct. 16, 1993?

Orris cited statements by Warren that "I was run down, I was in a depressed state, I was frustrated, I was ready to do anything to end the strike."

Warren was told that if he remained silent it would be used against him and if he wanted a lawyer that would adversely reflect on him, said Orris.

But Warren expressed a desire to have a lawyer and even though the law is clear that the interrogation should be halted immediately at that point, it wasn't, Orris argued.

Justice Rene Foisey suggested Warren's request for a lawyer was not a serious one.

Orris also argued that Warren was able to contact his wife to get a lawyer, but confessed before seeing him, so by then the damage was done.

There was also a delay of more than 22 hours before Warren was brought before a justice of the peace, defence lawyer Gillian Boothroyd said.

But Justices Mary Heatherington and John McLung said there was an ongoing investigation so the delay was reasonable.