An alleged sexual assault victim is calling for a public inquiry into the handling of the extradition and court hearing of Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh.
On Monday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled a 14-year delay in bringing the former Port Hawkesbury, N.S. businessman to trial in Canada on sex charges meant the case would go no further.
The alleged victim says he was shocked to learn Canada’s top court would not overturn the dismissal of sex crime convictions against 69-year-old MacIntosh.
“I was dumbfounded. I was shocked. I said, ‘it can’t be. What do you mean it’s over?’” said the alleged victim, R.M., whose full identity is protected by a court order.
In 2010, MacIntosh was convicted of 17 sex charges against four boys dating back to the 1970s.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal overturned the convictions, saying MacIntosh’s right to a speedy trial was delayed because it took more than a decade to extradite him from India.
R.M. says he and MacIntosh’s other alleged victims are asking the federal and provincial justice ministers for an inquiry into what caused the delay.
“They said ‘we’re not going to do anything until the Supreme Court makes a ruling.’ Well, the ruling’s been made, fellas, so get the ball rolling.”
Michel Samson, the Liberal justice critic, is also calling for a public inquiry into the matter.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of pointing fingers of blame,” says Samson. “It’s a matter of finding out, how do we make sure this never happens again.”
Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry says he is waiting on reviews already started by the public prosecution service and the RCMP.
“And then discuss with my federal counterpart in regards to what occurred here and see where we move forward,” says Landry.
If there is a public inquiry, R.M. says he would be willing to testify, and he doesn’t want other alleged victims of sexual assault to be afraid to come forward.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh