Christine Blanchard on the Rahim Jaffer case

From the Globe and Mail

During the Jaffer discussions, the prosecutor apparently realized that what she had was a dog’s breakfast of a case. Because of the protected nature of the discussions, we don’t know precisely what the problems were, but they must have been substantial for Ms. Balogh to determine she had no shot at conviction. (Most often in such cases, there are problems with the legality of the police search, or the alleged discovery of the "drug," or the "drug" isn’t a drug, or it was someone else’s.) And if there was any pressure in the air upon the prosecutor because of Mr. Jaffer’s prominence and connection to the federal government, it would have been a pressure to proceed with the case, not the other way around: You’d have to live in a cave not to understand that there would be howls of outrage if Mr. Jaffer were to be seen getting a kiss, which is of course exactly what has happened.

Would Canadians have preferred that Ms. Balogh, knowing her case was a mess and that Mr. Jaffer would be acquitted, go ahead with the charges anyway? At least one federal politician appears to think so. Former trial lawyer and New Democrat Joe Comartin was quoted by one columnist this week saying, "There isn’t a Canadian I think who would believe that he or she, faced with the same set of facts that Mr. Jaffer was faced with, would have at the very least had to go through a trial." Really? Does Mr. Comartin somehow know what those facts were? Has he forgotten that plea discussions are protected?

Some commentators are demanding absurdly that Mr. Jaffer himself issue a Tiger-Woods-style mea culpa and explain himself, as if he were still an MP, not merely married to one.

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