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Prosecutor questions accused on two different testimonies

KAMLOOPS – The pressure continued in a Kamloops Supreme Courtroom Wednesday afternoon as a Crown prosecutor suggested a man accused of second-degree murder lied to a jury in 2009.

Robert Donald Balbar told the court earlier he killed his girlfriend Heather Hamill out of self-defence when she threatened him and his son with a machete and cut him with a knife.

Crown Prosecutor Iain Currie continued to challenge Balbar on his evidence in his second day of cross-examination. Currie has often repeated his questions during cross-examination after receiving answers to different questions than he originally asked.

Currie asked Balbar why he told an undercover police officer in 2007 his son witnessed Hamill's death when he told the jury on Monday that his son slept during the entire event. Balbar said the "paranoia in (his) brain" caused him to say things he believed at the time to an undercover officer posing as a crime boss in an RCMP-managed Mr. Big sting.

In his first trial in 2009, Balbar told the court he lied to the officer because he wanted to protect his son. Now at the retrial, Balbar said he wasn’t lying to Mr. Big when he told him about his son being a witness, but rather told him something he believed at the time that he no longer believes today.

Balbar told the jury Wednesday afternoon after killing Hamill he became paranoid and was convinced his son had witnessed her death. Balbar said he now knows his son didn’t see anything.

“It was your belief at the time – is what you’re telling us – but you now believe that you were wrong and your son didn’t see anything?” Currie asked.

“I know I was wrong,” Balbar said.

Using a transcript of Balbar’s testimony at the first trial in 2009, Currie asked Balbar why he previously told a jury he lied to the crime boss because he “didn’t want them coming back on my family.”

Currie suggested to Balbar that if he wanted to protect his family, the last thing he would want to do is lie and say his son witnessed the murder because it would make him a "loose end." Balbar again said he was paranoid at the time of his confession.

“The last trial in 2009... when you were asked why you told the boss about that you said ‘it was because I was fearful for my son’ but you don’t remember that today. So you’re piecing stuff together today and you’re piecing together what you were thinking in 2009,” Currie said.

“I’m going to suggest to you sir that the last time when you were on trial and you were asked the question ‘why did you tell him that?’ you made up a reason that you thought was plausible, you thought the jury might believe. You told the jury that you were afraid for your son,” Currie said.

Balbar said he remembered worrying about his son seeing the murder.

Balbar’s trial continues Thursday morning.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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