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'Buried' alibi key to Canada murder appeal

Jan. 25, 2008 at 11:07 AM   |   Comments

TORONTO, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A veteran lawyer told a Canadian appeals court prosecutors buried the alibi of a client who was convicted of murder in 1972.

An angry Arthur Cogan told the Ontario Court of Appeal he would have used a different strategy to defend Romeo Phillion in 1972 had he known that police knew his client was 300 miles away at the time of the crime.

Phillion was convicted in the 1967 stabbing death of Leopold Roy. However the Toronto Globe and Mail said Friday a prisoner's rights group turned up evidence in 2001 a service-station employee 300 kilometers away had told police Roy was at his establishment at the time of the murder.

Cogan told the justices Thursday even under the looser evidence rules of the time, the statement should have been turned over to him.

"Ultimately, it was the judge and jury in this case who were deprived of something relevant to the issue," Cogan said.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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