An Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice has nixed a defence lawyer’s application to have a stay in proceedings on sexual interference and sexual assault charges laid against Thomas Svekla.

Svekla, who was convicted last year of killing a sex trade worker, is charged in relation to an incident involving a five-year-old girl back in 1995. The trial began last week.

Justice Mel Binder was asked by Svekla’s defence lawyer, Robert Shaigec, to have a stay in proceedings Tuesday when evidence disappeared — a taped police interview with the victim in the mid-1990s.

The tape would have been valuable to view as evidence and does pose a challenge to Svekla’s defence, admitted Binder.

“It is so prejudicial to the accused,” said Binder, who noted there is other evidence to consider.
Shaigec said the now 18-year-old victim has been “unreliable” because she can’t recall key details.

Binder is expected to make his verdict on Monday.

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