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Thursday, 11 December 2008

Alberta Court of Appeal panel rejected a call by the prosecution to increase Hui (Philip) Xu's punishment to five years.

18:22 |

Alberta Court of Appeal panel rejected a call by the prosecution to increase Hui (Philip) Xu's punishment to five years. Crown lawyer Bob Sigurdson argued provincial court Judge John Bascom erred in not taking into account the cache of weapons police found in Xu's home when they busted him with the drugs. But the appeal court, in a unanimous decision handed down by Justice Rosemary Nation, said Bascom noted the weapons in his ruling. "The sentencing judge was alive to the presence of the weapons and there was no evidence the weapons formed any part in the commission of the offence," Nation said. Defence lawyer Hersh Wolch said the Ruger semi-automatic rifle, ammunition, Panther stun gun, Taser and Kevlar vest found in Xu's home were remnants of his former gang lifestyle -- he also said his client feared some of his former associates might not appreciate him going straight. "It is a fact that a close friend of the accused was murdered not long before this event," the lawyer said. "That friend was speaking to the police and counselling people not to get involved in the drug trade when he was killed." Xu said he was out of the drug life when he agreed to help a former associate complete a drug transaction. Police surveillance captured him picking up three boxes in southwest Calgary and taking them to his Coverton Heights N.E. home on June 15, 2005. Xu had arranged for the transportation of the drugs, worth up to $4.2 million on the street, and stored them in his garage before his arrest.

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