EDMONTON lawyer Justin Sidhu, 31, has been found guilty of drug trafficking for delivering six grams of methamphetamine to an inmate at a remand centre, a media report said.
Sidhu from Alberta’s provincial capital of Edmonton was convicted on Thursday after a two-day trial, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Sidhu carried an envelope into the remand centre on September 19, 2013, and handed it to a client in an un-monitored interview room.
Guards later opened the envelope and found some sheets of paper, one photograph, cigarette rolling papers, a birthday card and a Christmas card, and six grams of methamphetamine.
Prosecutor Anita Chan told the court on Thursday that a remand guard she called a “highly credible witness” testified earlier that Sidhu said the envelope’s contents fell under lawyer-client privilege.
Chan insisted that Sidhu knew exactly what was in the envelope, and lied so he could bring the drugs to the centre’s inmate, Tyler Clarke.
She noted that drugs are worth five to 10 times in jail what they are on the street. The six grams of meth would have been worth about $6,000.
Clarke recently pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in connection with the case. He was given a 45-month prison term.
Sidhu remains free on bail.
Shannon Prithipaul, President of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), told the Edmonton Sun earlier that the incident may lead to measures that restrict lawyers’ ability to serve their clients properly. She agreed that contraband should be kept from coming into the prison, but she said it has to be balanced with an ability to maintain confidentiality with clients.
(IANS and media reports)