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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Evidence failed to link gangster to guns

20:02 |

Ammunition and gun parts found in a garage linked to convicted gangster Boby Sanghera were inadmissible at his trial because there was no proof the items were his, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled. On Friday, Justice Heather Holmes released her reasons for disallowing the evidence at the trial of Sanghera, two of his cousins and two associates earlier this year. Despite the disallowed evidence, Sanghera was convicted on four firearms' charges and sentenced in May to seven years in jail, minus time served. A month before Sanghera was caught in a car with hidden guns in November 2008, Vancouver Police had searched the garage of his southeast Vancouver home and seized the sawed-off butt portions of two long guns, a pistol magazine loaded with 9-mm ammunition, two boxes of 9-mm ammunition and five boxes of 40-calibre ammunition. During the trial, the prosecution argued the firearms-related material should be allowed into evidence, but Holmes ruled it inadmissible. On Friday, she explained that several other adults had regular access to Sanghera's garage, so it would be impossible to say the items seized belonged to him. "On the evidence, any link between the items seized from the garage and Boby Sangh-era is not strong," Holmes said. "The home on the property on which the detached garage was located was occupied by several other adults in addition to Boby Sanghera and his wife and child or children." The Crown had argued the items in the garage "would show that the accused had access to firearms and the opportunity to possess them, and were there-fore more likely to have been in possession of the guns that are relevant to the firearms-related charges against them." But Holmes disagreed: "It is not at all clear that the proposed evidence is logically probative of an issue in the trial," she said. "If it is, its probative value is certainly outweighed by its prejudicial effect." At the time of Sanghera's arrest, Vancouver police blamed his gang and its rivals for dozens of shootings across the city's south slope in 2008 and launched an undercover operation dubbed Project Rebellion to catch them.

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