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Criminal charges dropped against one Abbotsford hog-farm activist

One of four people charged with breaking into an Abbotsford hog farm and videotaping what they called cruel farm practices has had charges against him dropped.
Supporters of four animal activists charged with breaking and entering at an Abbotsford hog farm in order to expose alleged animal cruelty showed up at New Westminster Supreme Court on March 28.

Charges have been dropped against one of four animal activists accused of breaking and entering and mischief for what they say was for filming alleged “horrific animal cruelty” at an Abbotsford hog farm.

Amy Soranno, Geoff Regier, Roy Sasano and Nick Schafer — the so-called Excelsior 4 — are charged with 21 counts in connection with alleged 2019 offences at Excelsior Hog Farm.

On May 2, Crown spokesman Dan McLaughlin confirmed charges against Regier have been dropped.

He faced two counts of breaking and entering and committing an indictable offence and one count of mischief.

“The decision to stay these charges was made after Crown counsel concluded the charge assessment standard was no longer met with regard to this accused,” McLaughlin said. “As the case is still proceeding against the other accused, the BCPS (BC Prosecution Service) will have no further comment at this time.”

In a press release, Sasano said the latest stay of charges against the Excelsior 4 member "indicates that the Crown's case against us is built on a house of cards."

Court proceedings started in New Westminster Supreme Court on March 28.

A jury will hear the case starting June 27. Current hearings are for Justice Frits Verhoeven alone to determine admissibility of evidence.

Lawyers for the group are expected to argue for the dismissal of some charges based on alleged misconduct by police and the BC SPCA, a statement said.

The case is expected to last four weeks.

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