The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) announces the referral of Frank Ostrowski’s murder case back to the Manitoba Court of Appeal, 28 years after his conviction for the first degree murder of Robert Nieman.
Today the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Peter MacKay, announced that he was sending Frank Ostrowski’s murder conviction back to the Manitoba Court of Appeal for it to be re-considered by the Court.
AIDWYC lawyers James Lockyer and Alan Libman will be appearing today before the Manitoba Court of Appeal at 10:00 a.m. to ask that Mr. Ostrowski be allowed to remain on bail until the Court of Appeal hears his appeal.
A History of Mr. Ostrowski’s Prosecution
On September 24, 1986 two men broke into Mr. Nieman’s residence in Winnipeg, laid in wait for him, and shot him several times when he came home. He died of his wounds a month later.
Mr. Ostrowski was accused of having hired the two men who committed the murder based on the evidence of a highly questionable witness named Matthew Lovelace. Ostrowski was convicted in May, 1987 after a trial before Mr. Justice Darichuk and a jury in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg.
In February, 1989, the Manitoba Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and in June, 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed his further appeal.
Since then, Mr. Ostroswki has tried every avenue possible to challenge his conviction. He managed to convince the Winnipeg Police Department to review his case in 1994 but to no avail. He went to private investigators and lawyers for help.
Then, in 2002, he came to AIDWYC and asked us to help him with his case.
In 2005, we discovered that the Crown had made a deal [...]