THE BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) on Wednesday announced that a special prosecutor has approved a single charge of sexual assault against former Kelowna mayor Colin Basran.
His first appearance on this matter is scheduled for January 24, 2023, in Kelowna Provincial Court.
The BCPS said that Brock Martland was appointed special prosecutor on October 13 in relation to an investigation of a sexual assault alleged to have occurred in Kelowna in May 2022. The suspect was alleged to be Basran, then the sitting mayor of Kelowna.
The Assistant Deputy Attorney General Peter Juk KC (ADAG) appointed Martland special prosecutor under section 7 of the Crown Counsel Act because he considered it in the public interest to do so. The appointment of a special prosecutor is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice considering the nature of the allegations and the identity of the accused as an elected municipal official.
The investigation was conducted by the Kelowna RCMP Investigative Services Department and the investigative findings were independently reviewed by the Nelson Police Department before the report to Crown Counsel was forwarded to the special prosecutor.
Martland is a senior Vancouver lawyer in private practice. He was given a mandate to provide legal advice to the RCMP investigators as may be necessary, conduct any related charge assessment, and assume conduct of the prosecution if charges were approved.
The BCPC said that the announcement of the appointment of the special prosecutor was initially postponed pending completion of the investigation and approval of charges. Following consultation with the special prosecutor and considering the specific circumstances of the case, the BCPS concluded that issuing a media statement was appropriate at this time.
BASRAN was elected Councillor in 2011 and in 2014, he was elected Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor in 2018, but lost in 2022.
Basran was born and raised in Kelowna. He graduated from KLO Secondary school after attending elementary and middle schools in the Rutland area. Basran worked as a television journalist for CHBC News before going into business as a realtor.
The Basrans were one of the very first South Asian families to settle in the Okanagan, arriving around 1907.