Health

Dr. Brian Nadler expected to be acquitted of murder, criminal negligence charges

Dr. Brian Nadler, who formerly practised at a hospital in Hawkesbury, Ont., and is facing eight charges in connection to the deaths of four patients, is expected to be acquitted on Tuesday, according to both Crown and defence counsel.

Brian Greenspan said Saturday that his client will likely be acquitted of all eight charges against him — four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of criminal negligence causing death — on the first day of what was supposed to be a five-week trial in Ottawa.

The trial had originally been scheduled to start in June, but was pushed back to Tuesday as pre-trial matters before Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips continued right through to the end of this week.

News of the pending acquittals was first reported in the Ottawa Citizen Friday.

‘These rulings have decided the case’

CBC had been trying to reach Crown prosecutors this week for an update on what would be happening Tuesday, and received a response Saturday afternoon.

The pre-trial judge decided to make certain evidence inadmissible, the Crown said. That evidence was important enough that the Crown felt it no longer had a reasonable chance of success.

“The Crown has concluded that the effect of this court’s evidentiary rulings is to exclude evidence sufficiently important to the prosecution that the Crown is unable to continue,” prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt wrote in an email.

“For all practical purposes, these rulings have decided the case against the Crown.”

In order to be able to appeal the pre-trial rulings, the Crown will ask for Nadler to be arraigned, Flumerfelt wrote, “after which we will call no evidence and ask for directed verdicts of acquittal on all counts.”

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Nadler has been out of custody on bail since July 2021.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario suspended his licence to practice days after he was first charged.

Nadler has been the subject of much publicity in the years leading up to his trial. (Brian Nadler/LinkedIn)

Criminal negligence charges had been laid in February

Nadler was initially charged with first-degree murder in March 2021 in connection with the death of 89-year-old Albert Poidinger at the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.

Police later laid three additional charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of 80-year-old Claire Briere, 79-year-old Lorraine Lalande and 93-year-old Judith Lungulescu.

Court documents allege Poidinger was killed on March 25, 2021, and the three others died “on or about” that date. The documents say Briere, Lalande and Lungulescu also died in Hawkesbury, Ont.

In February, a new indictment against Nadler filed in Ottawa included four new charges of criminal negligence causing death involving the same four patients.

Nadler’s Toronto-based defence team had maintained their client’s innocence and had said his patients died of COVID-19.

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