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Crown attorneys weigh in on controversial comments by Premier Smith

Alberta Crown Prosecutors issued a statement about a controversy over comments made by Premier Smith Alberta Crown Prosecutors issued a statement about a controversy over comments made by Premier Smith
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The Alberta Crown Attorneys Association is weighing in on comments made by Premier Danielle Smith earlier this week.

On Thursday, Smith indicated she was regularly speaking with Crown prosecutors about how they would handle cases involving those accused of breaking COVID-19 health violations and other COVID-related offences.

The association said in its statement that prosecutorial independence (from political pressure) is fundamental to the role of a Crown prosecutor.

It also stated that it is not aware of any case where an elected official attempted to contact a specific Crown prosecutor to inquire about a prosecution.

Friday, Smith issued a statement saying she has never spoken directly to Crown prosecutors and that she used 'imprecise' language in her earlier remarks that caused an uproar. She said she was referring to conversations she had with the attorney general and deputy attorney general.

Alberta premier Danielle Smith asked Prime Minister Trudeau to apologize over the Speaker's Nazi invite controversy Wednesday.

ALBERTA CROWN ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION STATEMENT

"Prosecutorial independence is fundamental to the role of Crown prosecutors. It is a central component of an open and fair justice system in a democratic society. As Crown prosecutors, we are duty-bound to apply a two-part standard throughout every prosecution: whether there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction, and whether proceeding is in the public interest.

"The Alberta Crown Prosecution Service’s Code of Conduct emphasizes the importance of Crown prosecutors being able to, and being directed to, perform their duties independent of political or other improper external influences.

"Our Association is not aware of any case where an elected official has attempted to contact a specific Crown prosecutor to inquire about a prosecution. Our members have and will continue to discharge their ethical obligations in accordance with the principles and standards referenced above."

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