Court of Appeal upholds Rajan Mann’s conviction in kidnapping case, though ruling smartphones searches were unconstitutional

Rajan Singh MannTHE B.C. Court of Appeal has ruled that although the warrantless searches of two BlackBerry smartphones belonging to Rajan Singh Mann, who was convicted two years ago for the June 2006 kidnapping of Gary Kwong in Richmond, violated his right under Section 8 of the Charter to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure, his conviction will stand.

The court noted that the “Supreme Court of Canada has recognized the highly invasive nature of searches of cell phones and computers because of the quantity and quality of personal information contained on these devices.”

The court said: “The law as it stands today no longer permits police to conduct warrantless searches of the entire contents of an individual’s cell phone.”

But the court said: “The police acted in accordance with the law as it then stood. It that sense, the breach was inadvertent.”

The court ruled that the evidence obtained from the searches would stand because it “would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute.”

Charges were originally laid against Mann, William Scott and Terry Richardson. Scott pleaded guilty and Richardson died before the case was finished.

Full judgment here