By Amy Judd, Global News
A couple found guilty of plotting to blow up the B.C. Legislature on Canada Day three years ago have been released from prison today.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled the RCMP entrapped John Nuttall and Amanda Korody to blow up the Legislature.
The pair were found guilty of three terrorism-related charges last year. However, this ruling means the guilty verdicts will now be void.
Judge Catherine Bruce issued a scathing ruling finding that the RCMP used “deceit and trickery” to entrap Nuttall and Korody. She said the couple did not have the mental capacity to carry out the crime on their own and committed “illegal acts” in their investigation.
After their release, the two embraced in the lobby of the courthouse.
“We’re just happy to be free you guys,” Nuttall told reporters outside of court. Korody would only say she was feeling “overwhelmed.”
The two then got into a cab.
“It makes me so angry that the cops did that to my son and to Amanda,” said Maureen Smith, Nuttall’s mother. “I just pray that those police get what’s coming to them.”
In her statement, Bruce said the pair posed “no threat” to the public. She said the two were “jobless, marginalized, recovering heroin addicts” and that they “weren’t smart enough.”
“It was a stinging indictment of a very misguided and ill-considered police operation that should never have happened and Justice Bruce has nailed it in my view,” said Marilyn Sandford, Nuttall’s lawyer.
During the long trial, the defence argued Nuttall and Korody would not have committed the acts if it were not for the encouragement of undercover police officers working the case. Crown, however, said the RCMP were only guiding Nuttall towards the plans he had already proposed and put in motion.
“It’s serious because it shows the extent to which they overplayed their hand,” said Mark Jette, Amanda Korody’s lawyer. “The extent of which they went too far to manufacture crime.”
The judge added the undercover RCMP officer became a lifeline to Nuttall and Korody and that the officer isolated them.
Crown has filed a notice of appeal.
“My disappointment is more with respect of the legal implications with this decision,” said Crown lawyer Peter Eccles. “And the law that was applied because they judge and I will simply agree to disagree with respect to various aspects of the law.”
This is the first time in Canada the legal defence of entrapment has been successfully argued in a terrorism case.