Defence says B.C. gang leader most significant witness, needs time to prepare

VANCOUVER - Defence lawyers at a high-profile murder trial in Vancouver have asked for more time to prepare to cross examine a former gang leader, saying he is the most significant witness in the case.

Michael Le, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy after signing an agreement with the Crown, testified this week against Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer.

The two men are accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of six people, including two innocent bystanders, whose bodies were found in a high rise apartment in Surrey, B.C., in October 2007.

The Crown has finished its questions, and defence lawyers have asked that the trial be put on hold for two weeks to give them more time to prepare.

Haevischer's lawyer, Simon Buck, describes Le as the most significant witness at the trial, and says without him, the Crown wouldn't have a murder case against his client.

Le testified that Johnston and Haevischer, who were members of Le's gang, the Red Scorpions, each admitted to him their involvement in the killings.

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