APTN National News
VANCOUVER–Former British Columbia attorney general Wally Oppal has been named to head an inquiry investigating why so many women went missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside before police finally caught serial-killer Robert Pickton.
The announcement was made Tuesday morning in Vancouver by Attorney General Michael de Jong.
The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry will examine police investigations into reports of missing women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside between Jan. 23, 1997 and Feb. 5, 2002, said a statement from the B.C. government.
The inquiry will also review the January 1998 decision by the Ministry of Attorney General’s criminal justice branch to stay charges against Pickton for the assault of a Downtown Eastside sex trade worker.
The inquiry will also have the powers to make findings that could lead to the uncovering of “misconduct,” the statement said.
Oppal is expected to submit his report to the provincial government by Dec. 31, 2011.
Oppal was B.C.’s attorney general from 2005 to 2009. He also served on the B.C. Supreme Court from 1985 to 2003.
Pickton, one of Canada’s most notorious killers, was convicted in the murders of six women. He was originally charged in the deaths of 20 more.
Many of Pickton’s victims were Aboriginal women.