Crown drops Kaglik case
New trial unlikely for Inuvik man freed on DNA evidence

by Glenn Taylor
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Nov 21/97) - Herman Kaglik is now a free man, in every sense of the word.

The Inuvik man was released from federal prison earlier this year, after new DNA evidence showed he was innocent of a sex crime for which he was convicted in 1992.

Kaglik still faced the possibility of a new trial, for two other sexual assaults against the same woman for which he was convicted in 1994. But due to the damaging DNA evidence, Crown prosecutor Alan Regel filed a stay of proceedings earlier this month, effectively eliminating the likelihood of a new trial.

"It was a matter of common sense" to file the motion, said Regel. "We don't want to hang (the possibility of a new trial) over his head."

The Crown can re-open the case within the next year, but that's unlikely.

"I'd rather have gone to trial and proven Herman's innocence in court," said Valdis Foldats, Kaglik's lawyer. "I would have welcomed a new trial, but I can't force the Crown to do that."

"This verifies that I'm finally free," said Kaglik, now living with his family in Red Deer, Alta. "I don't have to phone the RCMP once a week and tell them where I am. It makes me fell more a part of society."

It was Foldats who last year searched out the pair of panties used against his client in the 1992 trial, and ordered DNA tests. The results confirmed that semen stains on the underwear did not match Kaglik's DNA.

"It's the most bizarre case I've ever had," said Foldats. "I'm satisfied, but it doesn't make up for almost five years in prison. I hope he gets some sort of compensation."

Barry Hamilton, Kaglik's Red Deer lawyer, is investigating the possibility of suing the justice system to compensate Kaglik's nearly five years in jail, according to Kaglik. Hamilton was not available for comment at press time.