Appeal Court Slams Ontario Judge for Two Cases of Trial Misconduct

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Appeal Court slams judge for trial misconduct

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TORONTO - Ontario's top court took the unusual step Tuesday of publicly berating a judge for inappropriate conduct during different cases that led to overturned convictions and costly retrials.

In their judgment allowing an appeal of two convicted drug dealers, the Appeal Court justices made it clear they were fed up with Superior Court Justice Robert Scott.

"This is the second time in less than one year that this court has allowed appeals relating to judgments of this trial judge on the basis of reasonable apprehension of bias," the Appeal Court wrote.

"In both instances, public resources were wasted, great inconvenience to the parties resulted, and the integrity of the administration of justice was tarnished," the Appeal Court ruled.

In its decision, the Appeal Court quashed Scott's convictions in August 2011 of John Huang and co-conspirator Ying Huang in Belleville, Ont., for various marijuana-related offences.

Trial transcripts from the joint trial show the Crown was cross-examining John Huang when Scott jumped in, asking the accused if he understood "what perjury is."

Huang's lawyer objected, saying, "I don't think that it is proper for your honour to interject and caution him about perjury at a point when he is trying to explain an answer."

Scott then admitted he had concerns about the truth of Huang's evidence. …