Delays in alleged kidnapping case

The defence for the three accused in an alleged kidnapping of a Penticton man are frustrated with court delays.

The defence for the three accused in an alleged kidnapping of a Penticton man in May are frustrated with the delays their clients are facing.

Three of the four accused, Kerry Ellis, Carey Anderson and Albert Fontaine appeared in court via video briefly as their lawyers aired their grievances with the slow pace of proceedings.

The fourth co-accused, John Szanto, who was sentenced to three years in jail on an unrelated assault charge on Sept. 24, was taken out of custody and into questioning by the RCMP and was unable to make his court appearance.

“Can we get a warrant out for the RCMP?” Anderson’s defence, James Pennington, said.

Fontaine’s counsel, Norman Yates, said it was the 10th appearance without the matter moving forward.

“In fact, (the case) has gone backwards since August,” Yates said.

“It’s becoming very frustrating for council and for Mr. Fontaine and I suspect for Mr. Pennington,” Yates said.

“Frustrating is an understatement,” Pennington added.

Paul Varga was removed as council for John Szanto and instead Vernon lawyer Juan O’Quinn will be taking the case.

“It needs to get in front of a judge without further delay,” Yates said.

The Judicial Case Manager, Marj Warwick, put the matter in front of a judge “for direction” on Friday.