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B.C. court says BlackBerry searches unconstitutional, but upholds conviction

June 19, 2014 - 4:46 AM

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Court of Appeal says police violated the rights of a man later convicted in a kidnapping when they searched two of his BlackBerry smartphones without a warrant.

But the court has nonetheless dismissed the man's appeal, concluding the evidence should still be allowed into the case.

Rajan Singh Mann was convicted for his role in a 2006 kidnapping in the Vancouver area, in part due to evidence the RCMP retrieved from two BlackBerrys after his arrest.

Mann's lawyers argued the RCMP should have obtained a warrant before searching the phones, because such devices can hold vast amounts of highly personal information.

The B.C. Appeal Court says a series of judgments in recent years have made it clear smartphones cannot be searched without a warrant, which means the search violated Mann's charter rights.

However, the court says those rulings weren't in place when police conducted the searches in 2008, so the evidence is admissible.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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