R. v. E.J.
(1) Fraudulent Use of Credit Card Data (8x);
(2) Fraud Over $5,000.00
The client, E.J., who was a travel agent, was charged with a large scale fraud as against a major airline. The Crown alleged that the client systematically defrauded the airline of thousands of dollars by purchasing airline tickets, which were in turn sold to members of a soccer club, using false credit card data. The client’s defence was that she had legitimately purchased the airline tickets through a ticket broker who was the true culprit.
The trial proceeded in the Superior Court of Justice before a Judge sitting with a jury. The ticket broker was called as a defence witness. The defence strategy was to present the ticket broker as a hostile defence witness and to argue that the defence should be permitted to cross-examine its own hostile witness. As a result of a careful examination in-chief of the ticket broker, it became clear that the ticket broker was being evasive and that he was hiding something. As a result, the trial Judge agreed with me that I should be allowed to cross-examine my own witness since he was hostile. After completing a very effective cross-examination of this hostile defence witness, the jury found the client not guilty of all of the charges which she was facing.
This case is a perfect example of the value of having an experienced lawyer who also has excellent advocacy skills. Not only was precise and deliberate examination in-chief and cross-examination required in this case, but also both the trial Judge and the jury had to be convinced of the possible culpability of the hostile defence witness.