Pub Bans and Sealing Orders

R v Minassian 2019 ONSC 4455

Justice Malloy denied an application for a publication ban and sealing order in the Alek Minassian matter. Minassian is the man charged in relation to the van attack in Toronto in 2018 that killed 10 people and resulted in many more being injured.

The defence sought a publication ban and sealing order on information and evidence filed in relation to a pre-trial motion primarily on the basis that the publication of such information would taint witness testimony at the judge alone trial of the matter.

Malloy J states:

I have found no basis for continuing either the publication ban or sealing orders previously made. Those orders will be rescinded, but not immediately.

This is an issue of some importance. Once the information is made public and reported in the media, the damage feared by the moving parties will have been done…Accordingly, in my view it is important to delay implementation of my order for two reasons: 1) to give the affected parties time to pursue an appeal, if they are so inclined; and (2) to give the defence an opportunity to locate and interview prospective witnesses before Mr. Minassian’s statement and the *** become the subject of press coverage. Accordingly, I am extending the publication ban and sealing orders until September 27, 2019, or until further court notice. Absent any order to the contrary, the information may be broadcast effective September 27, 2019.