Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trial of rival Bountiful religious leaders put off until April

The trial of two B.C. religious leaders charged with practising polygamy has been put off until April 22 and moved to a different town.

Winston Blackmore and James Oler have been charged with one count each of breaching Section 293 of the Criminal Code, which bans polygamy, by entering into a conjugal relationship with more than one individual at a time.

They made their first court appearance last month. Blackmore showed up in the Creston courtroom Wednesday, but Oler sent a lawyer on his behalf who was able to have the trial postponed and moved to a new venue — Cranbrook.

Blackmore, a leader in the religious community of Bountiful in southeastern British Columbia, is accused of having 20 wives.

Oler, a rival leader in the community, is accused of having two wives. Both men face a maximum of five years in prison if convicted.

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