The trial of Afshin Maleki Ighani has been adjourned until Jan. 19 after possible new evidence was found. Western News file photo

Ighani trial on hold until 2019

New evidence in the trial of alleged kidnapper in Penticton

There was another twist Wednesday in the Supreme Court trial of 47-year-old Afshin Maleki Ighani, who is facing 10 charges related to an alleged armed kidnapping on April 17, 2017.

Related: Shot fired during take down of alleged armed Okanagan kidnapper

Justice Nitya Iyer agreed, on day three of the trial, with the request from counsel for an adjournment after new information surfaced regarding Jodie Walker, one of the two people that were allegedly kidnapped.

At the start of proceedings Wednesday, defence attorney Paul McMurray told the court he had just learned, on Tuesday, about Walker’s Oct. 18 interview with Kelowna RCMP major crime officers.

In that interview, which took place in an RCMP vehicle outside of Walker’s mother’s Okanagan Falls home on an unrelated matter, Walker commented on the alleged kidnapping. She also spoke about what Crown believes were telephone calls between her and Ighani while he was in custody.

Related: Man accused of yet another violent incident at Okanagan jail

Wednesday, after Walker took the stand for the second time during the trial, the case was adjourned to allow the investigating officer to apply for Ighani’s telephone recordings from two institutions where he had been held.

“The contents of those records (telephone recordings) in my respective submission may significant bearing on Ms. Walker’s credibility and may open a line of cross-examination,” said McMurray, noting that the statement about calls with Ighani in the Oct. 18 RCMP interview was at odds with Walker’s claims.

When she was called to the stand Monday, Walker recalled almost nothing of her statement to RCMP April 22, 2017, about the details of the kidnapping and did not recognize herself in the police video of the statement.

As a result of that, Crown made application to the courts Tuesday to accept the video as evidence of truth of content.

Justice Iyer has not yet ruled on that application.

When Walker took the stand Wednesday she was asked by Swanson if she recalled being interviewed by the police on Oct. 18, she initially replied: “No I don’t.”

Portions of the recorded interview were played back to the court. When Swanson asked Walker if she recognized her voice she said she did.

He then asked if she had had any contact or communication with Ighani since he was arrested and she replied: “No, I haven’t”

“None?” asked Swanson.

“None,” said Walker.

He then asked, reading from a written transcript of the recording, if she told the officers Ighani was the one who kidnapped her with a firearm.

“I might have,” she said, adding that the kidnapping of her and her then-boyfriend Christopher Gliege may have been a result of a matter involving drugs that had been stolen from Ighani.

Gliege is thought to have gone the United States and his testimony from the preliminary hearing is being used as evidence in the matter.

The case has been set over until Jan. 7, 2019 to fix a continuation date. Ighani is to be in Supreme Court that day on another matter.

Related:Alleged violent offender Ighani denied bail


 

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