Nova Scotia in talks for agency to investigate wrongful conviction of Glen Assoun

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Justice Minister Barbara Adams says the province’s police watchdog is in talks with a civilian agency that may be willing to investigate the role of police in the wrongful murder conviction of Glen Assoun.

Adams gave no other details following a cabinet meeting today, saying further comment would come from the police oversight agency, called the Serious Incident Response Team.

Assoun, who died in June 2023 at age 67, was acquitted in March 2019 of the 1995 killing of his ex-girlfriend, Brenda Lee Anne Way, after spending almost 17 years in prison.

In September 2020, the oversight agency was asked by then-justice minister Brad Johns to investigate whether police had engaged in criminal misconduct.

In March 2021, the agency announced that British Columbia’s police watchdog had agreed to look into the case, only to reveal last November that the B.C. agency dropped out because it was too busy.

Adams says it has been challenging to find an independent organization with the capacity to take on the investigation and that the province’s police oversight agency needs to ensure its next candidate can deal with the amount of work that will be required.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 27, 2024.

The Canadian Press