**** SiRT Media Release
Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIOBC) To Investigate Historical Matter in Nova Scotia
On September 8, 2020, then Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mark Furey, asked the Serious Incident Response Team to investigate whether there was criminal misconduct by the police during the period before the appeal of Glen Assoun’s conviction.
In the interest of transparency, Director Cacchione asked The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC to conduct the investigation into this historical matter. The IIO is under the leadership of Ronald J. MacDonald, former director of the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team.
On March 8, 2021, an Order in Council endorsed an IIO inquiry into allegations that the RCMP in Nova Scotia inappropriately destroyed evidence which was used in the 1999 wrongful murder conviction of Glen Assoun. The investigation will also examine whether any member of the Halifax Regional Police committed any offence related to this conviction.
IIO investigators will begin a review of the matter in the near future to undertake this work. This will include their deployment to Nova Scotia as necessary. The IIO utilizes a “start from zero” approach, drawing no conclusions regarding the outcome of an investigation while working to gather all available evidence. The Chief Civilian Director will then review the evidence and, applying relevant legal principles, will determine whether reasonable grounds exist to believe that an officer may have committed an offence.
The IIO is committed to upholding the public trust placed in the civilian oversight of law enforcement system. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the IIO will report out its findings in as transparent a manner as practicable.