Yasin Mahad Ali v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Alberta) (Criminal) (As of Right)


Criminal law — Search and seizure — Search incident to arrest — Strip search — Whether the trial judge considered the correct test for a strip search — Whether the trial judge was permitted to consider hearsay evidence in her assessment of the grounds for conducting a strip search — Whether the trial judge erred in finding no violation of s. 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — Whether acquittal proper relief.


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Following an investigation into cocaine trafficking, the appellant was arrested and subjected to a strip search, which yielded three small bags of cocaine. At trial, the appellant applied to exclude the evidence on the basis that the strip search had not been justified at law. The trial judge concluded that the police had the requisite reasonable and probable grounds to conduct the search and admitted the evidence, and the appellant was convicted of possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking.

A majority of the Court of Appeal for Alberta dismissed the appellant’s appeal, holding that the trial judge had not erred in concluding that the police had reasonable and probable grounds to conduct the search, in accordance with R. v. Golden, 2001 SCC 83, [2001] 3 S.C.R. 679. In dissent, Veldhuis J.A. was of the view that the appellant’s s. 8 Charter right had been breached. She would have allowed the appeal and entered an acquittal.

Lower Court Rulings

September 28, 2020
Court of Appeal of Alberta (Calgary)

1901-0302-A; 2020 ABCA 344
Appeal dismissed, conviction upheld.