A B.C. Supreme Court Justice will consider whether to overturn a conviction against Coun. Brian Skakun for breaking the provincial privacy law and order a new trial.
Justice Selwyn Romilly reserved decision Wednesday following about three hours of submissions from defence lawyer Jon Duncan and Crown counsel Judith Doulis.
In reaching a decision, Romilly must decide if there was an error in law, the evidence did not support the verdict or there was any other ground for a miscarriage of justice.
In May 2011, Provincial Court Judge Ken Ball found Skakun guilty of leaking confidential personnel documents to CBC Radio in Prince George and fined him $750 for violating B.C.s freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation.
Duncan's submissions hinged in part on arguments that Ball displayed an "apprehension of bias" by failing to fully consider the evidence provided on Skakun's behalf.
Duncan recounted a trial in which he found himself at odds with Ball on several occasions over the line of argument and pointed to several instances in which he said defence's efforts were "belittled" and "interrupted."
At particular issue was whether Skakun had a duty as a city councillor to inform the public of wrongdoing by public officials and whether that duty is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In reaching his verdict Ball found Duncan had abandoned that line of argument but on Wednesday, Duncan disagreed and contended Ball simply decided to dismiss an application for disclosure on the issue.
Duncan was also critical of Ball's decision to accept testimony from Debora Munoz over that of Skakun in regards to a meeting they had in which Skakun admitted to her he leaked the documents.
Duncan said the note Munoz wrote outlining the conversation was written well after the meeting had occurred and maintained she wrote it after the fact to buttress her evidence.
"This judge gave short shrift to anything the defendant tried to do to defend himself," Duncan said.
Doulis noted defence attempted a mutually inconsistent argument by contending, at first, that Skakun did not leak the document but if he did was within his rights to do so as a whistleblower.
Once on the stand, Skakun admitted he handed the documents over to CBC but the question remained of whether he was charged within the one-year limitation from the date of the act.
Dismissing Skakun's testimony as not credible in favour of Munoz's was a key part of Ball's conclusion the charge was issued within the time limit.
While on the stand, Skakun continually failed to recall dates and and details, Doulis noted, and asserted Munoz was unaware of the limit when she wrote in her notes that Skakun told her he did not expect CBC would post the information on its website a day after he handed it over.
Doulis also argued Skakun cannot assert he acted in good faith or with due diligence because he failed to consult with staff or council before handing over the document.
"He does this behind their back," Doulis said.