Dennis Oland asks Supreme Court of Canada to hear bail case

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Dennis Oland has filed an application to the Supreme Court of Canada, hoping to reverse a New Brunswick court’s decision to deny him bail pending the appeal of his second-degree murder conviction in the death of his father.

His legal team issued a brief statement Friday saying they have asked Canada’s highest court to hear the case, something it is not obliged to do.

“While we respect the [New Brunswick] Court of Appeal’s ruling, the leave application is based on the fact that appeal Courts across Canada have expressed divergent opinions on the legal test for bail pending appeal,” said a statement released Friday by lawyer Bill Teed on behalf of Oland’s lawyers. “We see Dennis Oland’s case as a potential opportunity for the Supreme Court of Canada to clarify this point of law.”

The statement said there would be no further comment.

New Brunswick’s highest court rejected Oland’s bid to be granted bail in early April, and no one convicted of murder in the province has ever been granted bail before.

Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau said then he was “duty bound” to uphold an earlier decision to deny Oland bail on the grounds that releasing a convicted murderer pending appeal could shake the public’s confidence in the justice system.

Drapeau noted, however, that Oland’s grounds of appeal of his murder conviction in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, multimillionaire Saint John businessman Richard Oland, “appear to be serious.”

No chance of parole for 10 years

The bail decision means Oland, 48, who is serving life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years, will remain behind bars until his appeal can be heard.

Ernest Drapeau, Chief Justice, Court of Appeal

Court of Appeal Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau said earlier this month he was ‘duty bound’ to uphold an earlier decision to deny Oland bail on the grounds that releasing a convicted murderer pending appeal could shake the public’s confidence in the justice system. (CBC)

It has been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 18-21, provided a transcript of his three-month trial can be prepared on time.

Oland has been in custody since Dec. 19, when a Saint John’s Court of Queen’s Bench jury found him guilty of second-degree murder.

He has been seeking release since Feb. 13, the day after he was sentenced.

3 conditions for bail

On Feb. 17, Court of Appeal Justice J.C. Marc Richard had ruled “the confidence of the public in the administration of justice would be undermined” if a convicted murderer were to be released pending appeal.

Under the Criminal Code, bail may be granted pending appeal if the appeal is not frivolous, the convict will surrender into custody when the time comes, and his detention is not necessary in the public interest.

​Richard Oland, 69, was found beaten to death in his Saint John office on the morning of July 7, 2011. He was lying face down in a pool of blood with 45 sharp and blunt force injuries to his head, neck and hands. No weapon was ever found.

ns-hi-richard-oland-852

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. (Canadian Yachting Association)

His son, Dennis Oland, was the last known person to see his father alive during a meeting at his investment firm office the night before.

Oland’s family has stood by him from the beginning, maintaining his innocence.​

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Dennis Oland asks Supreme Court of Canada to hear bail case

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