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‘I was set up,’ Svekla claims

<p>Thomas Svekla once compared being caught with a body stuffed in a hockey bag as being no different than possessing stolen property, court heard yesterday.<br /></p>

Accused murderer told sister he’s innocent


Thomas Svekla once compared being caught with a body stuffed in a hockey bag as being no different than possessing stolen property, court heard yesterday.



In an Aug. 27, 2006, conversation wiretapped by police with his sister, Donna Parkinson, he said he would be found not guilty during his upcoming double-murder trial despite the discovery of two dead prostitutes.



“Think of it as stolen property,” he said of a hockey bag containing the body of Theresa Innes. “If you’re caught with stolen property, it doesn’t mean you stole it.”



On the tape, played to court as evidence yesterday, he told his sister the RCMP were destroying his reputation after they started probing his past upon his reporting the discovery of Rachel Quinney’s body two years earlier.



He said he was shocked to learn that investigators were “really digging deep,” even asking old friends from high school if he had ever told them about killing someone.



He expressed concern that he had “enemies” in northern Alberta that could potentially be behind his legal troubles.



“I was well-known in High Level as being a dangerous guy,” he said. “I was set up.”



When she asked him why he told so many people about finding Quinney’s body in a farmer’s field in June 2004, he blamed his behaviour on being a “big blabbermouth.”

Svekla, a 39-year-old mechanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Innes, 36, and Quinney, 19.



He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.



Parkinson reported finding the body of Innes when she opened Svekla’s hockey bag in the back of her truck in May 2006, while Svekla himself reported Quinney’s remains being found in June 2004.



Court has heard that he’s hoping to be found innocent so he can sue the government for wrongful arrest and retire on an acreage near Legal, Alta.






















ongoing



  • The trial continues on Monday and is expected to last until June.



 
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