Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Meet the Key Players Who Will Be a Part of Jian Ghomeshi's Trial

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Meet the Key Players Who Will Be a Part of Jian Ghomeshi's Trial

Article excerpt

Key players in Jian Ghomeshi's trial

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TORONTO - The trial of disgraced CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi gets underway next week in Toronto. Here's what we know about the judge, the Crown prosecutor and Ghomeshi's defence lawyer:

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Ontario Court judge William Horkins

The judge presiding over one of the year's most high-profile criminal trials is no stranger to hot-button issues.

Three years ago, Ontario judge William Horkins ruled that police street checks -- also known as carding -- were unconstitutional, a debate that carries on among many police forces to this day.

He nonetheless allowed the gun found during a carding stop to be entered as evidence and found the accused guilty of unauthorized possession of an unauthorized firearm.

Horkins was called to the bar in 1980 and served as both a Crown attorney and a defence lawyer before he was appointed to the bench in 1998.

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Crown prosecutor Michael Callaghan

The lawyer tasked with putting Jian Ghomeshi behind bars also led the prosecution against a young man who fatally shot his abusive father with a crossbow at a Toronto public library.

Michael Callaghan, a career Crown lawyer, successfully prosecuted Zhou Fang in the gruesome 2010 slaying, a case the presiding judge deemed "exceptionally difficult," according to media reports at the time.

He also led the charge against a serial arsonist best known for setting fire to the Empress Hotel in downtown Toronto, and a volunteer hockey coach who secretly videotaped teenage athletes in the showers of an arena. Both pleaded guilty.

Callaghan, who has recently been working on policy matters, is a fair and competent prosecutor, said Anthony Moustacalis, president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association.

"He's well-balanced as a prosecutor," Moustacalis said. "He has a good reputation for good judgment but also trial skills."

Though the Ghomeshi case has made international headlines, Callaghan himself is unlikely to seek the spotlight.

Crown lawyers tend to keep a low profile because "their professional ethics dictate that they do their talking in the court," unlike defence lawyers, who have no such constraints, Moustacalis said. …

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