Motion Seeking Permission to Oversee Babies Autopsies Delayed

A court motion discussing whether or not an independent pathologist should be allowed to attend the autopsies of six dead babies found in a U-Haul storage locker bogged down started on Wednesday. The hearing has been adjourned to Friday, when the lawyers representing the Winnipeg Police Service and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) are anticipated to argue over what role they be allowed to play at the proceeding.

Winnipeg Police has already arrested a 40-year-old suspect, Andrea Giesbrecht, charged with six counts of concealing remains. The court was told that almost 90% of the autopsy work has already been completed. However, Giesbrecht’s lawyer, Greg Brodsky, has filed a motion seeking permission for former chief medical examiner, Dr. Peter Markestyn, to be allowed to sit in on the autopsies. According to an affidavit scripted by current chief medical examiner Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, it was stressed that he would not approve the request without a court order. Brodsky told Judge Brian Corrin on Wednesday that “what I want is a pathologist who is competent and accredited to appear at the autopsy with his hands in his pockets and Velcro on his mouth.”

Whereas on the other hand, the lawyer representing Winnipeg police, Kim Carswell, sought an adjournment of the hearing alleging that she needed time to review court materials and seek instruction from her client. Brodsky opposed the adjournment, alleging that “I never took the position the WPS had standing in this matter,” adding that “(Carswell) doesn’t have to seek instruction because there is nothing that she can say that will affect the quality or content of the motion before you.”

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