VANCOUVER, B.C. – One of the leaders of a B.C. polygamous sect says the court should stay the charges against him, or order the province to pay his legal costs.
Winston Blackmore was arrested in January along with James Oler, the leader of a separate polygamous faction in the community of Bountiful, and each were charged with practising polygamy.
Blackmore is asking a B.C. court to stay the charges, or at least order the B.C. government to pay his legal bills if he must stand trial.
Blackmore’s lawyer, Bruce Elwood, told a B.C. Supreme Court judge that special prosecutor Terrance Robertson had no authority to recommend charges after another prosecutor had already made the opposite decision.
He says a special prosecutor appointed two years ago recommended against charges but former B.C. attorney general Wally Oppal went “special prosecutor shopping” to find someone who would charge the leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway sect of the Mormon church.
Blackmore has admitted having multiple wives but his lawyers have said they’ll argue that the legal ban on multiple marriages violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.