Closing arguments got underway Thursday in Kamloops at a civil trial launched by a former North Okanagan RCMP officer.
Milan Ilic alleges the RCMP mishandled an internal investigation against him, leaving him with serious damage to his mental health and no way to clear his name.
He was medically discharged from the force in 2019.
The events at the centre of the civil trial began years earlier with Ilic’s involvement in a high-profile murder case.
In 2011, the RCMP officer was among the first to find 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest beaten and strangled near railroad tracks in Armstong.
At the resulting murder trial, an allegation surfaced that Ilic had thrown a bottle of liquor out of his pocket at the scene.
The former Mountie maintains what he tossed that night was a box of pens so he could use his jacket to cover the injured teen.
Ultimately, Ilic’s denials about the liquor bottle led to allegations that he had lied on the stand and to senior officers and a police code of conduct investigation was launched.
On Thursday, Ilic’s lawyer went through the details of the case point by point, highlighting areas where the plaintiff argues the RCMP was negligent.
According to Ilic’s lawyer, in one incident, an RCMP officer was notified that a witness had reported seeing people carrying a mickey bottle of vodka on the train tracks.
However, Ilic’s lawyer told the court there is no evidence the officer informed anyone of this key information that a mickey bottle of vodka was seen in the area before Ilic even got there.
The internal investigation against Ilic petered out in 2015 after a time extension wasn’t granted.
The plaintiff’s lawyer argues this left Ilic with no way to clear his name.
In a legal document, the federal and provincial governments have defended the RCMP investigation, saying the investigation was carried out thoroughly, diligently, in good faith and as expeditiously as possible.
Defence counsel is expected to start its closing statement on Friday.
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