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News (Media Awareness Project) - Canada: Spain Asked To Speed Up Trial For Ailing Canadian
Title:Canada: Spain Asked To Speed Up Trial For Ailing Canadian
Published On:2012-01-20
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Fetched On:2012-01-24 06:03:09

The federal government has sent a letter to Spain's new prime minister
asking that a Canadian man detained in that country for more than two
years receive a trial as soon as possible.

Philip Halliday, 55, of Digby, N.S., has been held in a Spanish jail
on drug-trafficking charges since December 2009 without a trial date.

His wife, Sheree Halliday, said she recently learned that Diane
Ablonczy, minister of state for foreign affairs, wrote a letter to
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, urging that "on compassionate
humanitarian grounds and due to serious health conditions Mr. Halliday
receive a timely trial."

John Babcock, a spokesman for the minister, said he couldn't provide a
copy of the letter, but reiterated the government's desire for a trial
date to be set.

Halliday, an ex-fisherman, was arrested about 300 kilometres off the
coast of Spain aboard a converted Canadian Coast Guard research
vessel, the Destiny Empress. Inside a hidden compartment, authorities
found more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street
value of $600 million. He insists he had no idea the drugs were on
board and believed he was simply delivering the vessel to a new owner,
his family has said.
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