B.C. polygamous leader Winston Blackmore asks court to quash criminal charge

Winston Blackmore is seen outside his community hall in the isolated religious commune of Bountiful, B.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER - A leader of a British Columbia polygamous commune is asking the province's Supreme Court to quash a criminal charge against him.

Winston Blackmore filed documents on Friday arguing that the polygamy charge must be thrown out on a legal technicality.

The documents argue that the B.C. attorney general improperly appointed Peter Wilson, the special prosecutor who laid the charge against Blackmore and three other men.

Blackmore and James Oler became leaders of separate factions in the community of Bountiful, in the province's southern interior, when the religious community split a decade ago.

They were each charged last August.

Blackmore is accused of 24 marriages, while Oler is accused of four marriages and is charged along with two other people with unlawfully removing a child from Canada for sexual purposes.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Blackmore and Oler have previously faced charges of polygamy in 2009, but that case was thrown out over how the province chose its special prosecutor.

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