Judge fears video could threaten Bernardo's rights
A judge had delayed his ruling regarding the public release of a videotape which shows police interviewing convicted killer Paul Bernardo on the murder of Elizabeth Bain.
Justice David McCombs said Thursday he wants more information about the technological consequences of releasing the tape before he makes his decision.
He will hear from lawyers representing both sides again on June 4.
McCombs said he's concerned releasing the tape would threaten Bernardo's rights.
He said he's worried that irresponsible editing of the video could lead people to believe that Bernardo is responsible for Bain's death, even though he is not on trial and is presumed innocent.
The tape shows police questioning Bernardo about the unsolved disappearance of Bain, a University of Toronto student who vanished in 1990.
Bernardo, who has never been charged with her death, has denied killing the woman.
The judge asked the Crown several questions about how easy it would be to distribute, post and even manipulate the video if it were to be posted online.
The Crown attorney said he supports releasing the video with restrictions. He suggested news outlets be banned from posting the video on their websites so that others wouldn't be able to post it on file-sharing sites such as YouTube. He also suggested the video be destroyed after it is broadcast on the news.
Lawyers for several media outlets argued the recording should be made public.
The video was an exhibit at the trial of Robert Baltovich, who was accused of killing his girlfriend Bain. Baltovich was initially convicted of the murder but the Crown dropped the charges after he appealed the ruling on several grounds.
Lawyers argued that releasing the video is in the public's interest because a public inquiry is not being held into what they said was a botched police investigation.
McCombs said even notorious killers like Bernardo need to have their rights protected.
The judge also said he feels for Bernardo's victims and doesn't think they should have to see the man's face on TV again.
With files from The Canadian Press