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Court briefs
Crown won't challenge appeal

Casey Lessard
Northern News Services
Published Monday, Aug 20, 2012

The Crown will not appeal Adrian VanEindhoven's successful appeal of his murder conviction, and prosecutor Jeanette Gevikoglu said the case could be set for retrial, albeit with a different lawyer.

VanEindhoven's lawyer, Laura Stevens, argued on Aug. 13 that the Crown should not assign a new lawyer, which would only delay a process for a man who has been jailed since April 2004, when he was charged with killing his common-law wife, Leanne Irkootee, in Rankin Inlet. His appeal was granted on March 8 of this year. Stevens said the Crown prosecutor who secured the conviction in 2007 knows the case best, and having someone else get up to speed will take too much time.

Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick said the Crown has to decide by Sept. 10 whether the case would go to trial.

Stevens also pushed for any trial to take place in Iqaluit.

"My client doesn't believe he'll get a fair trial in Rankin," she said.Kilpatrick agreed, and said the Crown has to provide a good reason the case couldn't be heard in the capital.

"This trial had a great deal of publicity in Rankin Inlet and lots of community members sat through the trial," Kilpatrick said.

Arnakallak puts fate in jury's hands

Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick railed on lawyers for allowing the public to attend a preliminary inquiry for Pond Inlet's Ruben Arnakallak, who is accused of killing his older brother Esa on Nov. 25, 2011.

Arnakallak has elected to be tried by judge and jury, and Kilpatrick said the open nature of the hearing may have tainted the jury pool in the community of close to 1,300.

"If you want to run a preliminary inquiry in the community, it should be closed," he said on Aug. 13, reiterating instructions he gave to the lawyers before the hearing was held.

Both defence lawyer Alison Crowe and Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren said there were no potential jurors at the hearing, and that neither of them was concerned about that risk.

Arnakallak will be tried Feb. 11, 2013 in Pond Inlet. He remains in custody at Baffin Correctional Centre.

Man accused of murder charged with assaulting fellow inmate

Alec Petooloosie, who is charged in connection with the death of his uncle Matthew on Dec. 12, 2011 in Iqaluit, now also faces an assault charge. Petooloosie is accused of a July 21 attack at Baffin Correction Centre, on fellow inmate Ivan Mucpa, who faces sex charges involving minors.

Petooloosie's plea on the assault charge against Mucpa is expected Sept. 11.

Lawyers are still waiting for an autopsy report on the death of his uncle.

Nowdlak pleads guilty to manslaughter

Jimmy Nowdlak, the man accused of causing the death of a Pond Inlet woman after a September 2008 sexual assault, is going to plead guilty to manslaughter, his lawyer said Aug. 13.

"The Crown and I have resolved it," Laura Stevens said. "There's going to be a guilty plea."

The woman, who was in Iqaluit for medical appointments, died in hospital Aug. 29, 2010.

Nowdlak will be sentenced Oct. 18.

Geetah gets trial date

Elee Geetah - who faces 13 charges related to a 2010 standoff in Cape Dorset that left his brother Jamesie Simigak dead, and resulted in bullets hitting a dog, a raven, and the bathtub of a police officer's home - will get a two-week trial starting Feb. 25, 2013.

Twenty civilian witnesses are expected to testify in the case. Lawyers are discussing the prospect of reducing the trial time by agreeing to some of the facts of the case, court heard early last week.

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