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Nanaimo Daily News under investigation, says cops have “egg on their faces”

January 17, 2011

Mounties are investigating whether the Nanaimo Daily News and reporters Danielle Bell and Derek Spalding breached a publication ban with a recent article. Here’s the release:

Nanaimo RCMP have initiated an investigation into a Breach of Publication Ban under Sec. 517 of Criminal Code. The investigation was initiated after discussion with Crown Counsel. This occurred after an article appeared in the Nanaimo Daily News, on January 14, 2011, titled, “Exposed police informants victims of violent attacks”.

A Publication Ban was requested by defense counsel during the Bail Hearing for Shane Long and was in place since January 10, 2011. The Ban, in regards to this matter, is based on the need to ensure the safety of the participants and witnesses in this matter.

Cpl. Elly YOUNG
Call Manager C Watch
Nanaimo RCMP Detachment

The Daily News didn’t name an informant, but rather one of those charged in a recent attack. Now the cops say there may have been a publication ban on his name, which seems strange to me, and apparently the folks at the NDN too. They’ve come back swinging at the cops.

Here’s a Nanaimo Daily News story about the investigation:

Cpl. Darren Lagan said there were discussions between Crown prosecutors and the RCMP about the story both before and after the story was published in print and online.

“I think ultimately the Crown and the police believe there was a breach of the publication ban,” said Lagan. “These are things that aren’t taken lightly.”

He said the investigation is now being handled by the Nanaimo RCMP serious crimes unit and advised speaking with Staff Sgt. Doug Chisolm today for more information on how police will proceed.

Lagan also pointed out that there were discussions between the RCMP and the Daily News before the story ran outlining concerns of the police. Managing editor Cale Cowan said that Chisolm emphasized the concern over the safety of the informants the day before the story ran.

more…

That story includes the following defense by NDN managing editor Cale Cowan:

“We haven’t breached any publication ban,” said Cowan. “Any information we have, we obtained through our own sources, which are clearly identified in the story.

“We stand by our story because it’s true. We believe the only reason the police have launched this investigation is because they have egg on their faces and they are trying to deflect criticism.”

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