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B.C. judge throws out arrests, evidence in kidnapping, robbery conspiracy case

Both men had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Vancouver Provincial Court
The decision follows a Nov. 20, 2023 voire dire.

A kidnapping and robbery conspiracy case against two men is over after a Vancouver provincial court judge threw out arrests and evidence.

Isaiah Castro and Paolo Silvera were jointly charged with conspiracy to both kidnap and rob a person in Surrey in December 2019.

Judge Donna Senniw found the arrest of the two men were unlawful and that subsequent seizure of evidence and other matters were also unlawful.

She said police repeatedly violated Charter rights of the men.

She characterized the situation as a “continued and unreliable pattern of police misconduct.”

There remains the possibility that the decision could be appealed once it is examined by senior Crown Prosecution Branch lawyers. As such, Glacier Media has chosen not to detail the ruling.

However, Crown prosecutor Phil Sebellin told Senniw after her decision, “that leaves us basically with no case in proving the charges.”

The decision came as a result of a voire dire Nov. 20, a hearing akin to a trial within a trial where the judge hears evidence to decide if it can be heard as part of the trial proper.

Both men had pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected trial by provincial court judge.

Both Silvera and Castro appeared by video.