Former Kelowna mayor Colin Basran likely looking at jail time if convicted | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Former Kelowna mayor Colin Basran likely looking at jail time if convicted

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran

A prominent criminal lawyer says if former Kelowna mayor Colin Basran is convicted, he will likely go to prison.

Basran was charged last week with sexual assault. Details of the allegations remain confidential including the name of the complainant, which is protected under a publication ban.

The Crown has decided to prosecute Basran under indictment, as opposed to a summary proceeding. The difference between the two can have serious consequences for the accused.

"An indictable proceeding means that an individual has a choice as to mode of trial as opposed to a summary proceeding. A summary proceeding means that the matter has proceeded to trial in front of a provincial court judge," Kelowna criminal lawyer Wade Jenson explained.

The choices for the accused facing an indictable charge means they can be tried by a provincial court judge, or in Supreme Court whereby the accused can elect to be tried by judge alone or by judge and jury.

Jenson says the trend he's seeing is the Crown is favouring indictment instead of summary.

"The Crown is more inclined by indictment just to keep up with the harsh sentencing that the courts are utilizing. So, jail is almost automatic. That's certainly what I see as the trend, absolutely."

Jenson adds that if Basran is convicted under indictment, the former mayor's looking at jail-time.

Basran is due to make his first court appearance in January. However, it could be months before he actually has to appear in-person.

"They're (accused) not expected to enter any plea at all. They can ask for an adjournment for a few weeks or to secure counsel. I can only speak on my behalf, but we never have our clients come to court because there's just no reason for it. The only day we have our clients come to court is for trial where they do have to be there by law," Jenson said.

But it could be several months before a date is set for Basran's trial.

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