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Innocent until proven guilty

Police investigations, like the one into the province’s formersolicitor general, are kept quiet because the person involved ispresumed to be innocent, B.C.’s attorney general said yesterday.<br />Chilliwack MLA John Les resigned his cabinet post as solicitor generalon Friday after discovering he was part of an RCMP investigation intoland dealings in Chilliwack.

Police investigations, like the one into the province’s former solicitor general, are kept quiet because the person involved is presumed to be innocent, B.C.’s attorney general said yesterday.
Chilliwack MLA John Les resigned his cabinet post as solicitor general on Friday after discovering he was part of an RCMP investigation into land dealings in Chilliwack.
The allegations date back to the 1990s when Les was mayor of the Fraser Valley city.
“Not all investigations result in charges,” said Attorney General Wally Opal, as he was pounded by opposition questions in Victoria yesterday.
“It would be unfair, to say the least, to reveal the state of an investigation where it does not result in charges.”
Opal, who has assumed Les’s duties, said innocent people are often subject to investigations.
“That is the reason why persons, who are under investigation, are not made known to the public. It’s called fairness and it’s based on the presumption of innocence.”
Opal’s ministry announced Friday that the investigation had been ongoing since June 2007. The announcement was in response to a media enquiry.
–jeff.hodson@metronews.ca

 
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