La Presse inc. v. Frédérick Silva, et al.
(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)
Criminal law - Publication bans - Criminal law ? Publication ban ? Orders prohibiting publication, broadcasting and transmission in relation to judgments on voir dire ? Whether s. 648 of Criminal Code applies prior to jury selection ? Whether Superior Court erred in applying Dagenais/Mentuck test ? Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 648.
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The respondent Frédérick Silva was charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder based on incidents that occurred on February 21, 2017, and December 20, 2018. On November 22, 2019, the prosecution laid five charges by direct indictment. On August 2 and October 15, 2021, respectively, the Superior Court dismissed Mr. Silva’s motion for a stay of proceedings and Garofoli motion. It also made orders under s. 648(1) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 (Cr. C.), prohibiting publication, broadcasting and transmission in relation to the two judgments. Further to those judgments, and by consent of the parties, Mr. Silva was tried by a judge alone, without a jury, on four of the five counts. On November 16, 2021, he formally recognized that the prosecution had discharged its burden on each essential element of the four offences through a nolo contendere proceeding. On January 27, 2022, Mr. Silva was convicted on the four counts. The parties agreed that the last count, which was for second degree murder, would be separated from the indictment and that Mr. Silva would have a trial by judge and jury on that count in May 2022. Before the trial began, La Presse brought a motion to lift the orders prohibiting publication, broadcasting and transmission in relation to the two judgments. On March 11, 2022, the Superior Court dismissed the motion. On May 6, 2022, Mr. Silva filed a nolo contendere proceeding on the last count, leading to the cancellation of the jury trial.
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