Kelowna’s former mayor Colin Basran did not appear in court on Jan. 24, for a charge of sexual assault that allegedly took place while he was in office.
Attorney, Lydia Chu, representing Basran’s defence lawyer’s firm Peck and Company, appeared on behalf of Richard Peck.
The embattled mayor has hired high profile criminal defence lawyer Peck, to defend him in the case.
Over his career Peck has successfully represented big name clients including former Surry Mayor Doug McCallum in a public mischief case and Air India bombing suspect Ajaib Singh Bagri. He also was lead council for the extradition case of Meng Wanzhon.
Chu requested that the matter be adjourned for four weeks to give the defence time to look over a package of particulars that had been submitted by the Crown.
The submission was accepted and the case will return to Kelowna court on Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.
The incident reportedly occurred on May. 11, 2022, the same day that Basran, 46, is said to have attended a Tourism Kelowna event at the Coast Capri Hotel.
The complainant’s identity is protected by a publication ban.
After the incident was reported, an investigation was conducted by the Kelowna RCMP before being handed over to the Nelson RCMP for an independent review from investigators who had no previous relationship with Basran.
Two days before the 2022 municipal election, where Basran was running for re-election, special Crown prosecutor Brock Martland was appointed to the investigation. Martland also did not appear in court on Tuesday.
Basran was officially charged with an indictable offence of sexual assault on Dec. 7.
Criminal defence lawyer Timothy Foster explained that sexual assault is a hybrid offence and because of the wide range of severity it encompasses, trials typically proceed as though it is an indictable offence, which is considered more severe, prior to the first court appearance. A charge of the sexual assault encompasses everything from unwanted touching to rape.