Court challenge for details of Vagramov's 'alternative measures'

Several Lower Mainland media outlets are petitioning the courts to release records related to the alternative measures program completed by Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov in his sexual assault case.

Lawyers for CBC, CTV and Global News argued in court documents filed last week that the details should be disclosed "subject to the open court principle." The public has a right to scrutinize the measures the same way they would for "sentencing records or records of any other act in the administration of justice," the petition stated.

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"Even if those seeking to maintain the sealing order can meet the heavy onus to show that the sealing order is necessary to prevent a genuine risk to the administration of justice, only the portions of the materials which meets that test should remain sealed and the remainder released," the documents state.

Vagramov's legal issues date back to last March, when special prosecutor Michael Klein announced one charge of sexual assault against Port Moody's newly elected mayor following a three-month investigation.

In November, the charges were stayed after the Crown said Vagramov had successfully completed an alternative measures program. But details of those measures were not released and the special prosecutor has refused to provide documents to the public.

During a press conference when he announced his return to work after taking a leave to deal with his legal issues, Vagramov told reporters that an apology to the complainant was all that was involved in the alternative measures. He called the incident, which occurred in Coquitlam in 2015, an "awkward date" and has denied he did anything criminal.

When the charges were stayed, Vagramov initially told reporters that he was "exonerated." He later walked back that claim, which drew some public criticism, saying he was "relieved of the charge."

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