Sam Tsega was the inside man, the Ottawa link between three killers from Toronto and a Barrhaven teenager who was executed with a bullet to the heart.
But now, more than six years after Tsega first set foot in an Ottawa courtroom — and more than six months after being found guilty of manslaughter for his role in the killing of Michael Swan — he is asking the court to stay his conviction and release him from jail because of unnecessary delay.
Tsega’s is the latest high profile criminal case in Ottawa now at risk after a landmark Supreme Court decision last July that found the presumptive ceiling for criminal cases to be completed in Canada’s courts should be 18 months in provincial court and 30 months in Superior court. Delays beyond that are presumptively unreasonable, the court found, and violate an accused’s constitutional rights to be tried in a reasonable amount of time.
The application to stay the charges comes after prosecutions in two other high-profile Ottawa cases collapsed.