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More Delays In Vikings Motorcycle Club Case Causing Concerns

 Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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A St. John’s Lawyer is expressing concerns over another delay in the case against a dozen people charged in connection with the Vikings Motorcycle Club. The main issue is who will pay for the legal costs of some of the accused.

The case against nine of those charged in late September of last year following dramatic raids was called at provincial court yesterday, but again was delayed for another month.

Bob Buckingham has been retained by two of the accused, but says he can’t really begin representing them because of a dispute with Legal Aid. Buckingham says he has been offered fees that will pay for one hundred hours of service, but he says that won’t begin to cover a case of this size and it’s mostly because of the amount of evidence.

He says there is an “incredible amount of evidence to be reviewed.” That includes 75,000 pages of disclosure, notes from 400 police officers in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Ontario, 5,000 pages of documents from search warrants and over 700 audio recordings from intercepted telephone conversations.

A two year RNC-RCMP investigation dubbed “Operation Bombard” resulted in the arrest of thirteen people after raids carried out in St. John’s and Cupids. Police seized drugs including fentanyl, oxycodone and cocaine, Vikings colours, various weapons, eight motorcycles and two trucks. It also resulted in murder charges against Allan Potter and Daniel Leonard in the death of Dale Porter in North River in June of 2014.

Buckingham says he will need at least ten times what Legal Aid is offering to mount a credible defence for his clients. With the clock ticking on a case that is really no further ahead after six months, he says the issue of legal representation will likely have to be resolved in the courts.

His concern is not if there is a Jordan Application, if the case is not heard in an acceptable amount of time, but if there is enough time and money offered to properly prepare. He says “when you are talking about being offered one hundred hours,” versus what he thinks will take a thousand hours, “then they are not even in the same ballpark and the courts will have to decide.”

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