I have taken my time to write this update. There has been a lot to process personally and collectively.
On February 10th, 2021, the British Columbia Court of Appeal announced its decision regarding Crown’s appeal to lift the stay of proceedings on our #PooniSisters court case. A panel of five judges dismissed the appeal. Crown has recently confirmed it will not take further steps to appeal the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada.
In their decision, all five BC Court of Appeal justices agreed:
“This is a troubling case. The charges were serious, involving sexual abuse of vulnerable complainants. Mr. Virk was found to be guilty of most of the offences charged, but, due to the breach of his s. 11(b) right to trial within a reasonable time, the proceedings were stayed—effectively acquitting him. A stay of proceedings in these circumstances marks a failure of the justice system.
This case is also troubling because a significant portion of the delay was due to the complacency and lack of urgency demonstrated by Mr. Virk’s first counsel. But that failure on the part of the defence was compounded by the failure of the Crown and the Court to take control of the prosecution and move it along effectively…” (Court refers to the trial judge).
The disheartening decision opened up many old wounds and brought up waves of emotions. My sisters and I have had a lot to process, have asked ourselves many questions about breaking our silence and our 14 year journey through the criminal justice system. Over the past month we have nurtured each other, cried, laughed and have shared moments of joy as we let go of the old and welcome the exciting journey ahead.
I have so much to share with you all about the lessons learned over the decades, healing and the adventurous projects bursting to come to form. First in order is publishing my book I wrote 3 years ago called The Silent Stoning. Before I take even one step towards my book I must decide to close the Change.org/Poonisisters petition. Certainly, the thought of having to do that brings up another wave of emotions.
It’s an honor to be sharing this journey with you. Your love and kind messages touch my heart and soul.
With love and respect,