B.C. cop charged with assault faces new charge
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Friday, February 27, 2009 1:42PM PST
The New Westminster, B.C., officer charged with assault in connection with the beating of a newspaper deliveryman last month in Vancouver is now facing an additional charge.
Cst. Jeff Klassen, 38, is now charged with possession of stolen property. Klassen is accused of assaulting Firoz "Phil" Khan and being in possession of his cell phone outside the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Vancouver in the early morning hours of Jan. 21.
West Vancouver Police Const. Griffin Gillan is also charged with robbery.
Gillan, Klassen and a third officer from the Delta police department were off-duty at the time of the alleged incident, where Khan says he was robbed of his cell phone and $200 and beaten by the officers while he was delivering newspapers to downtown hotels.
Speaking outside of the B.C. Provincial Court, crown prosecutor Ralph Heefer says Klassen's new charge stems from new information provided by the Delta officer.
"The Delta officer will be testifying as a crown witness and has provided a statement," said Heefer.
Heefer alleges Khan's cell phone ended up in Klassen's pocket after the West Vancouver officer took it from Khan "to prevent him from calling police."
Neither Klassen nor Gillan has been convicted of any charge.
Klassen's lawyer, David Butcher, says his client intends on pleading not guilty.
"These charges are going to be contested," he told CTV News on Friday.
The case has been held over to March 13 to allow time for prosecutors to prepare.
On Thursday, the New Westminster Police Board changed the status of Klassen's suspension to unpaid after what it says is "careful consideration."
Gillan is currently suspended with pay as the men await their next court date in Vancouver.