November 6, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada

The Government is committed to a fair and impartial criminal justice system that respects the needs of victims while guarding against potential miscarriages of justice.

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced today that he has ordered a new trial for Mr. Tomas Yebes, pursuant to the conviction review provisions of the Criminal Code.

On September 13, 1983, Mr. Yebes was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder. His appeals to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in 1985 and to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1987 were dismissed. Mr. Yebes submitted his application for ministerial review in March 2019.

For an application for ministerial review to succeed, the Minister of Justice must be satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred, and therefore a new trial or appeal is required. The Minister does not decide on guilt or innocence, but must consider all relevant information, including whether the application is supported by new matters of significance not previously considered by the courts.

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