R. v. Araujo, [2000] 2 S.C.R. 992, 2000 SCC 65, 2000 SCC 65 (2000)

Supreme Court of Canada

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R. v. Araujo, [2000] 2 S.C.R. 992, 2000 SCC 65, 2000 SCC 65 (2000)

R. v. Araujo, [2000] 2 S.C.R. 992

Angela Araujo, Spencer Leslie, Appellants

Neil Grandmaison, Christina Khoury, Victor Camara,

Robert Jenkins, Tiffany Muriel Leslie,

Kevin Lathangue and Jolene Irons v.

Her Majesty The Queen Respondent

Indexed as: R. v. Araujo

Neutral citation: 2000 SCC 65.

File Nos.: 26898, 26899, 26904, 26943, 26968.

2000: April 11, 12; 2000: December 14.

Present: McLachlin C.J. and L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel JJ.

on appeal from the court of appeal for british columbia

Criminal law -- Appeals -- Question of law -- Crown's appeal against acquittals -- Issues on appeal concerning application and interpretation of legal standard of investigative necessity for obtaining wiretap authorization -- Whether Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to hear Crown's appeal -- Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, s. 676(1)(a).

Criminal law -- Interception of communications -- Investigative necessity requirement -- Nature and interpretation of requirement -- Whether affidavit materials submitted to obtain wiretap authorization established investigative necessity -- Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, s. 186(1)(b).

Criminal law -- Interception of communications -- Standard of review for wiretap authorization -- Whether trial judge applied proper standard -- Approach to amplification.

Criminal law -- Interception of communications -- Affidavits -- Kind of affidavit to be submitted on application for wiretap authorization.

The accused faced multiple charges related to their cocaine-trafficking ring. Much of the Crown's evidence against them was gleaned from information captured through wiretapping. The Crown had obtained ex parte authorizations for its wiretaps from a judge by submitting a 130-page affidavit, prepared and signed by R, a member of the RCMP. The affidavit contained information from 10 confidential sources denoted "A" through "J". Information from these sources came to R by way of other officers who were their handlers. On a voir dire at trial, R was cross-examined on the affidavit. After confused attempts at explaining inconsistencies in the affidavit, R admitted that in several places the affidavit referred erroneously to source "E", rather than to source "F". He later testified that the reference should have been to source "C". R admitted that he had known about this error several weeks before the trial. He affirmed that he had forgotten about the matter, but suddenly remembered it during the cross-examination. The trial judge indicated that R's lack of credibility "permeate[d] the issue of reasonable and probable grounds", one of the preconditions to the authorization, and concluded that the affidavit should fall in its entirety. The Court of Appeal set aside the acquittals of the accused and ordered a new trial.

Held: The appeal should be dismissed.

The Court of Appeal had jurisdiction under s. 676(1)(a) of the Criminal Code to hear the Crown's appeal. The Court of Appeal examined the combined interpretation and application of the legal standard of investigative necessity. It also discussed the interpretation and application of the standard of review for a judge reviewing a wiretap authorization. The interp...

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