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Convicted killer refuses to testify against 3 acquaintances – Saskatoon

Watch above: murder trial hits a snag on opening day

SASKATOON – More than a decade after Isho Hana was gunned down on Preston Avenue in Saskatoon, the trial of three men charged in his death was scheduled to begin Monday morning.

Already, there’s a setback after Crown prosecutor Michael Segu called the first witness, Neil Yakimchuk.

Yakimchuk was asked if he would be sworn in on the bible or if he’d prefer to affirm. His response was, “Neither, I’ve got nothin’ to say.”

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At the time of his death in April 2004, Hana, 34, was married and the father of two children. Hana is believed to have been involved in the drug trade. When charges were finally laid in 2012, police described the murder as a contract killing.

The charges came about when Yakimchuk confided in undercover officers. Yakimchuk was unknowingly part of a ‘Mr. Big’ sting operation in Calgary.

Undercover officers there were working toward having Yakimchuk confess to murdering Juan Dequina. Believing he was part of a criminal organization, Yakimchuk admitted his involvement in Dequina’s death as well as Hana’s.

Yakimchuk has been found guilty of both murders and is serving two separate life sentences.

On July 31, Yakimchuk appealed the guilty ruling in the Hana murder.

Jonathan Dombowsky, Kennith Tingle and Long Nam Luu are also charged in connection with Hana’s death. Their trial, beginning Monday, hit a quick road block when Yakimchuk was called as the first witness and he refused to testify.

The judge warned Yakimchuk he can be charged with contempt of court if he refuses to testify which could result in further imprisonment.

Already serving two life sentences, Yakimchuk appeared unfazed by the threat.

The trial resumes Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Where it is headed is very much dependant on whether Yakimchuk agrees to testify against his three acquaintances.

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