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Defence for former Saskatoon MP says impaired driving trial taking too long

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SASKATOON - A provincial court judge has adjourned his decision on whether to stay an impaired driving charge against former Saskatoon MP Jim Pankiw.

Defence lawyer Mark Brayford submitted a delay application Thursday, saying too much time has elapsed since his client was charged.

Judge Daryl Labach listened to arguments from the Crown and Brayford before adjourning the matter.

It's been more than two years since Pankiw was charged on July 26, 2011, after allegedly chasing intruders from his home just south of Saskatoon.

A tentative trial date has been set for Oct. 29.

The case was initially set for trial back in March, but was delayed when the defence requested more information from the Crown pertaining to a 911 call and breath sample equipment used on Pankiw.

But Brayford blamed the bulk of the delay on the Crown, saying it took prosecutors too long to disclose that information.

The case had been adjourned at least eight times since the disclosure application was made on Mar. 4.

Crown prosecutor Bryce Pashovitz argued the charges should not be stayed because of the unique circumstances of the disclosure.

He called it a "considerable, but not unreasonable time period" given that the defence had asked for documents that were not commonly requested in an impaired driving case.

(CKOM)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/130927/defence-former-saskatoon-mp-says-impaired-driving-trial-taki