Federal Court overturns Robert Latimer’s travel restrictions

Judge Michael Manson says there is no reason Latimer can’t travel freely

VANCOUVER – A Federal Court judge has overturned a parole board condition that bars Robert Latimer from leaving the country.

Judge Michael Manson says in a ruling released Tuesday that the appeal board acted unreasonably in November 2013 when it upheld a parole board decision that denied Latimer’s request to travel freely outside Canada without first obtaining pre-approval.

Manson says there is no reason the Saskatchewan farmer can’t travel freely, as there is nothing to indicate he poses any risk to society.

The decision also says the parole board is supposed to consider the least restrictive release possible for an offender, and the board and its appeal decision did not exercise discretion in Latimer’s case in a reasonable, transparent or intelligible manner.

The Attorney General of Canada had argued the travel ban was warranted because positive assessments from Latimer’s parole team don’t necessarily outweigh the gravity of his crime.

Latimer was convicted of the second-degree murder of his severely disabled daughter Tracy in 1997 and sentenced to life in prison but granted full parole, with some conditions, in 2010.

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