Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Guilty verdicts upheld in Surrey Six slayings

The Court of Appeal released a “Statement of Pronouncement of Judgment” on Thursday

Eileen Mohan, whose son Christopher was murdered in the 2007 Surrey Six slayings, says it’s “justice due” after the appeal court upheld the murder convictions of Matthew James Johnston and Cody Rae Haevischer.

“I think it’s justice due, and that cannot be broken,” Mohan told the Now-Leader on Thursday (Jan. 28).

“You cannot hide behind technicalities just because you can. Innocent lives were taken, which included my only son, and not only Christopher’s life was taken, as you know.”

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The B.C. Court of Appeal heard conviction appeals in Johnston and Haevischer’s case during a three-day webcast last October, 13 years after the murders.

On Thursday, the court released a statement saying that “while the verdict of guilt are affirmed” both men can still apply for a stay of proceedings and argue abuse of process.

“I don’t know what the three appeal judges thought when they left this avenue open for them,” Mohan said. “You know what it means, stay of proceedings. They can walk free. That means the very people who came and killed Christopher and others walk free,” she said. “They said the dates have not been set yet.”

The decision in its entirety is not being released until lawyers can review to ensure no confidential information is disclosed.

READ MORE: Haevischer, Johnston appeal convictions in Surrey Six slayings

The two men were convicted of murdering six people in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007. The Crown’s theory was that the killings were payback for an unpaid debt between rival gangs.

Christopher Mohan and Abbotsford gasfitter Ed Shellenberg, 55, were innocent victims who accidentally stumbled upon a drug hit in progress.

Edward Sousakhone Narong, 22, Ryan Bartolomeo, 19, and brothers Michael Justin Lal, 26, and Corey Jason Michael Lal, 21, were also slain.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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