James could have pardon revoked

Graham James is currently facing nine new charges, including some from former NHLer Theoren...

Graham James is currently facing nine new charges, including some from former NHLer Theoren Fleury.

SHAWN LOGAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 PM ET

CALGARY -- New sex charges against disgraced hockey coach Graham James could see his controversial pardon revoked.

While National Parole Board spokeswoman Caroline Douglas couldn't comment on a specific case, she noted that the board has the ability to revoke a pardon under certain circumstances.

"The parole board has the authority to revoke a pardon but there are a number of steps that need to be taken before a pardon is revoked," she said.

"We consider all relevant information brought before us and that information can be brought to our attention in a variety of ways."

Under the Criminal Records Act, a pardon can be revoked if the recipient is convicted of even a minor offence or if there's evidence that the recipient is no longer in good conduct or made false statements in the application for a pardon.

The pardon is automatically ceased by the RCMP if the recipient is convicted of an indictable offence.

James, 58, who pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexually assaulting two junior hockey players, including former Flame Sheldon Kennedy, received a pardon in 2007 for the crimes but it only came to light earlier this year.

He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail and has been living and working in Mexico.

On Wednesday, Winnipeg police issued a Canada-wide warrant for James, who is facing nine new charges from three alleged victims, including former Flames star Theoren Fleury, covering a span from the late '70s to the mid '90s.

The other two complainants cannot be named under a publication ban.

James' lawyer, Evan Roitenberg, was on vacation when reached Thursday and said he will likely talk to police next week about bringing his client in to talk to investigators.

"Hopefully next week we'll have plans solidified," he said, declining to say whether he's been in contact with James.

Roitenberg reiterated that James is willing to co-operate with investigators and noted it's unlikely that Canadian cops would have to go through the extradition process to bring him back from Mexico.

"I don't expect that that's a road that we'll be going down at any time," he said.

Canada has an extradition agreement with Mexico.


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