Accused killer of Canadian police officer released on bail

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Province of Québec, Canada.

The man accused of killing a Laval, Quebec police officer on March 2, 2007 was released Tuesday on a CA$200,000 bail.

Basil Parasiris has been charged with several offences stemming from a drug raid carried out by police in the early morning hours of March 2. Among the alleged offences are a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Constable Daniel Tessier, attempted murder in the wounding of Tessier's partner, Stephane Forbes, and several weapons offences. Parasiris will remain free on bail pending a preliminary hearing to be held in August of this year.

For his part, Parasiris has not denied that the shooting took place, and has apologized to Tessier's family. He claims that he was acting in self defence, as he didn't know that it was police entering his house in a planned raid, and instead believed intruders had broken in. "I'm really, really sorry (about) what happened. My condolences to the Tessier family," Parasiris told CTV News. "I honestly thought there was a home invasion or something."

The judge overseeing the bail proceedings, ruled that Parasiris would not pose an immediate threat to society, but did place strict conditions on his release. While awaiting trial, Parasiris, 41, will have to live with his father, obey a curfew, and not travel outside Canada.

In what is believed to be the first ruling of its kind in Canada, releasing on bail a defendant charged with killing a policeman, the judge criticized some of the police tactics used during the raid. Justice Jean-Guy Boilard of the Quebec Superior Court noted that the police didn't use a "knock notice" before entering Parasiris' house, but rather used a battering ram to break down the door. When serving a warrant under normal conditions, police are to knock at the door and identify themselves. Jacques Larochelle, Parasiris' lawyer, indicated that he will contest the warrant's legality.

The prosecution argued that, even if it was not clear to Parasiris that police were entering his home, he should not have been so reckless with a gun.

During the fatal raid on the Parasiris home in March, police collected four loaded handguns, as well as a small amount of drugs and cash. According to reports, the 357-magnum handgun allegedly used by Parasiris to shoot the officers was legally registered.