business pages

NNSL Photo/Graphic


Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Man cleared of threat charge

Northern News Services
Published Monday, September 19, 2011

A Cape Dorset-man was acquitted of uttering a threat to an RCMP officer last year, in Supreme Court in Iqaluit Sept. 13.

Qavavau Shaa was charged with uttering a threat to an RCMP officer in Cape Dorset in July 2010, a day after his arrest for an armed standoff with police. As he was about to be transported from the Cape Dorset RCMP cells to Iqaluit, the Crown alleged he threatened an RCMP officer.

But the 19-year-old testified through an interpreter in court on Sept. 8 he told the RCMP officer "That I could 'shoo' him for that," and the defence argued the word "shoo" is how Shaa pronounced the word "sue." He further testified he was angered by the RCMP officer's comment he could not return to Cape Dorset and thought the officer should be reported to his superiors. Shaa also told court at no time did he threaten to shoot the RCMP officer. Shaa's primary language is Inuktitut, and he has little education and a limited ability to speak English.

Justice Robert Kilpatrick ruled the Crown's refusal to recall the RCMP officer in question to testify made it difficult to distill fact from fiction. Without hearing from the sergeant about what he had heard - shoot or shoo - Kilpatrick ruled the defense's evidence raises a reasonable doubt.

As the Crown has not proven the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, the court finds Shaa not guilty, ruled Kilpatrick.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.