This story will be updated after Len Barrie's appearance in court today.
Len Barrie was a no-show on the first day of his tax trial in Victoria provincial court, leading a judge to warn that a warrant will be issued for his arrest if he fails to appear in court Wednesday morning.
Barrie, the former CEO of the Bear Mountain Master Partnership, was charged in December 2010 with two counts of failing to file tax returns for Bear Mountain Holdings.
The Crown alleges Barrie did not file income tax returns in 2008 and 2009.
Barrie has pleaded not guilty to the two counts.
A three-day trial with one Crown witness and three defence witnesses was to begin Tuesday.
The charges are not criminal offences.
Prosecutor Cristin Peel told Judge Loretta Chaperon the Crown was ready to proceed, but Barrie was not present. Peel advised the court she intended to apply for a warrant for Barrie’s arrest.
Barrie’s defence lawyer Paul Waller advised the judge there are provisions in the Criminal Code in summary conviction matters — generally considered less serious — that allow a defendant to be represented at trial by counsel or an agent.
“My client has chosen, for personal reasons, he can’t be here today,” said Waller. “I have instructions to go ahead.”
“No, that’s not acceptable to me, Mr. Waller,” Chaperon said. “I am going to require Mr. Barrie’s presence and I will issue the warrant.”
Barrie told the Times Colonist that he plans to be in court this morning.
He flew back to Victoria late Tuesday afternoon from his home in the U.S. “I’ll be there tomorrow,” he said.
“My defence lawyer wasn’t sure if I needed to be there or not. It’s not a criminal thing … but if they need me to be there, it’s no problem, I’ll show up. It’s not a big deal.”
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