Crown defends witnesses at gang murder trial

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jul 03, 2014 - 3:48 PM |
VANCOUVER - The Crown says several former gang members who testified about the murders of six people, including two innocent bystanders, are credible and should be believed.

Closing arguments are underway at the Vancouver trial of alleged gang members Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston, who are each charged with conspiracy to commit murder and six counts of first-degree murder.

Their trial began last fall and has heard from a number of witnesses who were once in the Red Scorpions gang, which the Crown says was responsible for the October 2007 deaths in Surrey.

Those witnesses include former gang leader Michael Le, Haevischer's former girlfriend, and a former member known only as Person Y — all of whom are expected to have their credibility attacked when the defence presents its final arguments.

Crown counsel Mark Levitz says Person Y, who testified he was involved in the conspiracy and that Johnston confessed to him, is clearly motivated by a desire to turn his back on his former life of crime.

Levitz says the accounts provided by Person Y and by Haevischer's former girlfriend are corroborated by other evidence and should be believed, while he has yet to address Le's evidence in detail.

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