The trial of Alex Louie, also known as Senklip, over gun smuggling charges began Monday morning, and is expected to run through the week.                                (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

The trial of Alex Louie, also known as Senklip, over gun smuggling charges began Monday morning, and is expected to run through the week. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Lack of lawyer causes roadblocks in trial

Presiding justice halted Alex Louie, also known as Senk’lip, in his tracks several times Wednesday

Day three of a trial over alleged gun smuggling hit roadblocks throughout Wednesday morning, as the accused toed a line of questioning the presiding justice found problematic.

Alex Louie, also known as Senk’lip, is facing nine charges related to an incident early in the morning on Feb. 1 this year, when he allegedly attempted to bring two handguns across the border near Osoyoos.

During his cross-examination of Crown witness Courtney Inch, a Canada Border Services Agency officer, Justice Arne Silverman stopped Senk’lip short when he attempted a line of questioning regarding some documents, sending the jury out of the room.

Related: Justice rules B.C. courts hold jurisdiction over Indigenous man

The courtroom entered a voir dire hearing, the details of which are covered by a publication ban.

“You all know that Senk’lip is not a lawyer, so there’s no negativity whatsoever to be thought of the fact that I sent you out to determine what ultimately was a legal issue,” Silverman said after bringing the jury back into the courtroom.

“I’ve made a decision, and there won’t be any further questions relating to those two documents.”

Proceedings continued to stagger from there, and Silverman stopped Senk’lip in his tracks once again just minutes later, when he asked her for her interpretation of a section of the Criminal Code of Canada.

“You’re asking her to interpret the law. She doesn’t have the expertise that courts of the law have long said witnesses need,” Silverman said.

Related: Alleged gun smuggler’s name disputed

Though Senk’lip was unable to ask Inch about her interpretation of the law, Silverman reminded him he would be able to bring forth his own interpretation at the end of the trial.

Senk’lip also ran into issues later on, when he began addressing the jury directly during cross-examination.

After Inch’s testimony, acting Superintendent Cecilia Christian with the CBSA spoke to her point of view of the early hours of Feb. 1 at the Osoyoos border crossing, with questions from Crown lawyer Clarke Burnett.

Related: Man charged with smuggling handguns across Osoyoos border

Christian said she stood back and let Inch take the lead when it came to interacting with Senk’lip prior to searching the vehicle.

Both Christian and Inch searched the vehicle from front to back, finding nothing of note until they came upon what was suspected to be a handgun magazine in the trunk of the vehicle.

“It had an orange component on it, and I wasn’t convinced it was a real magazine, necessarily,” Christian said. “But it was enough for me to think ‘why would there be this, even if it was fake, this magazine sitting in the back of the vehicle?’”

After seeing that, Christian said she decided to do a more thorough search of the main cabin of the vehicle.

Related: Courtroom rabble rouser granted internet access in jail

Christian said she searched deep into the console area under the driver’s wheel with her flashlight, and saw something shiny sticking out.

“I started picking at it and realized that it wasn’t part of the vehicle, and it was a plastic bag,” she said. “I kept pulling on it until it came out from where it was tucked in, and out came trigger locks for handguns.”

She said she knew it was trigger locks because of a booklet that was in the bag with the trigger locks. Deeper still, Christian said she found a pair of boxes containing handgun ammunition, and that was when Senk’lip was detained and his rights read to him.

Trial for Senk’lip is expected to last the week.

Related: Man calls for judge’s arrest, gets trial date


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

These nails were collected off the Campbell Mountain bike trails in Penticton this weekend. Someone placed them all over the trail. (Facebook)
Hundreds of nails placed on popular Penticton bike trail

A mountain biker took to Facebook to warn others about the nails

Chrystina Barnard, owner of Lucky’s Pet Supply, has made it her mission to visit as many patios in Penticton as a way to promote restaurants. Here she is enjoying an eggs benny with her best fur friend at Loki’s Garage in Penticton. (Facebook)
Penticton foodie commits to 19-day patio crawl to promote local restaurants

The small business owner wanted to help out eateries hurt by the new restrictions

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

Penticton fire truck
Residents evacuated after apartment fire in Penticton

The fire started in an apartment on Government Street Saturday night

Lori Jantz snapped this picture of a fight between a bald eagle and an osprey above Osoyoos Lake on Friday. (Lori Jantz photo)
Battle in the sky erupts above South Okanagan lake

Bald eagle and osprey fight mid-air in Osoyoos

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Exposure at Vernon’s BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

Most Read