News

Czech stalemate stymies court

THE TRIAL of a man charged with a number of offences stemming from an incident in which two peace officers were injured may never go ahead.

No new trial date was set after David Schiffer, a citizen of the Czech Republic, failed to appear in Terrace provincial court Sept. 6.

His defence counsel subsequently asked to be removed from the case.

Schiffer, 35, was  charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and care or control of vehicle while impaired after a man driving a white van lost control and smashed into the back of a parked police car near Ferry Island on Dec. 30, 2011.

The crash sent the man, highway patrol officer Const. Philip Crack and auxiliary Const. Shelley Ullery to hospital, reported police at that time.

Police said right before the crash the van had been clocked on radar travelling more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

The police car was off the travel portion of Hwy 16 near Ferry Island and officers were monitoring traffic when it was rear-ended, said police.

All three people were later released from hospital and both officers were off work for some time, said police.

Schiffer’s lawyer for the planned Sept. 6 trial, Jeffrey Arndt, said Schiffer was in Prague, Czech Republic trying to get his visa renewed so he could return to Canada.

“Once again, I apologize to the court but there’s nothing my client can do under the circumstances,” said Arndt of Schiffer, who had been working in Terrace at the time of the December 2011 incident.

Prosecutor Paul Kirk asked for an unendorsed warrant to be issued for Schiffer so he would have to be brought before a judge if he were ever detained.

An unendorsed warrant means a judge would decide if the person arrested should be released and if so, on what conditions.

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