Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One unsavoury witness can confirm the testimony of another

R. v. Brown, 2013 ONCA 128 holds that one unsavoury witness can confirm the testimony of another.  Put otherwise, two Vetrovec witnesses can confirm each other:
[12]       We disagree. As expressed by this court in R. v. Drabinsky, 2011 ONCA 582, 107 O.R. (3d) 595 at para. 140:
There is, however, no prohibition against the evidence of one Vetrovec witness confirming the evidence of another Vetrovec witness.... The question is not whether the witness is him or herself a Vetrovec witness, but whether the evidence of each witness is sufficiently independent of the evidence of the other to provide confirmation.
[13]       Recently, in R. v. Pelletier, 2012 ONCA 566, 295 O.A.C. 200 at para. 69, Watt J.A. stated that “at least in the absence of evidence of collusion or collaboration, the evidence of one unsavoury witness can confirm the testimony of another.”


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