Ibrahim Ali’s appeal of murder conviction rejected by B.C. court

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has rejected an application to throw out the conviction of Ibrahim Ali for the murder of a 13-year-old in Burnaby, over what his lawyers have called unreasonable delays in getting him to trial.

Justice Lance Bernard made the ruling, with reasons to follow, moments after defence lawyer Kevin McCullough made his final rebuttal in the matter that could have seen Ali go free.

Ali was found guilty on Dec. 8, 2023, less than 24 hours after jurors’ deliberations began. He was arrested on Sept. 7, 2018, nearly a year after the Burnaby girl was found dead in Central Park.

The child, whose identity is covered by a publication ban, had been reported missing hours prior to her body being discovered.

Ali had been in custody and charged with first-degree murder for more than 63 months, which McCullough previously told a B.C. Supreme Court judge is more than double the allowable threshold set out by the Supreme Court of Canada.

McCullough brought the so-called Jordan application in an attempt to stay the proceedings on the grounds it took too long for his client to get to trial, a limit Canada’s High Court has set at 30 months.

But Crown lawyer Daniel Porte blamed the delays mostly on the defence and “discrete exceptional events,” including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ali now faces a mandatory life term with no chance of parole for 25 years.