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Our latest response from BCAG Shirley Bond’s office

Dear Ms. Mereska:

Thank you for your email dated September 20, 2012, in which you raise concerns about the investigation of possible criminal activity in Bountiful.  We are responding on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Honourable Shirley Bond.  The Criminal Justice Branch is responsible for the conduct and supervision of criminal prosecutions in British Columbia.

The RCMP investigation of matters arising out of Bountiful remains ongoing.  Once the investigation is complete and police forward their file to the Special Prosecutor for charge assessment, Peter Wilson, QC will conduct an independent review of the file and determine if the evidence warrants proceeding with charges of sexual exploitation, polygamy or other offences.  In so doing, he will apply the Criminal Justice Branch charge approval standard.  For charges to be approved there must be a substantial likelihood of conviction on the evidence gathered by police.

We appreciate that this is a matter that has attracted considerable public attention, given the serious nature of the allegations.  We also appreciate the frustration experienced by yourself and others in awaiting completion of the investigation and charge assessment.  However, the Attorney General does not have supervisory authority over police in individual cases and cannot direct them in their investigation.  As such, the process must be allowed to run its course to ensure a thorough investigation by the police in the exercise of their discretion and an independent, objective assessment for charge approval purposes.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns.

Sincerely,

Criminal Justice Branch

Ministry of Justice

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