WINNIPEG – Andrea Giesbrecht’s trial is on hold for the next five weeks.
Giesbrect, 42, is charged with concealing the remains of six dead infants inside a storage locker. The grisly discovery was made in October 2014 at a U-haul storage facility on McPhillips Street.
Giesbrecht’s husband, Jeremy was set to wrap up his testimony with cross-examination from defence lawyer Greg Brodsky Thursday morning. But the Crown attorney began questioning Giesbrecht asking if he was willing to waive spousal privilege.
Under the Evidence Act it says:
No husband is compellable to disclose any communication made to him by his wife during their marriage, and no wife is compellable to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during marriage.
In other words, Jeremy Giesbrecht does not have to testify about private conversations he had with his wife Andrea while they are married. However, he can opt to waive that right and answer questions about their conversations.
Giesbrecht said he planned to waive the privilege and answer the questions, but as Brodsky began questioning him it appeared the accused’s husband wanted to pick and choose which information he would divulge.
By waiving his spousal privilege right, it would allow the Crown to cross-examine him, however it opened up a debate between Judge Murray Thompson, defence attorneys and prosecutors.
Giesbrecht is now seeking legal advice and Judge Thompson has asked both sides to provide case law and written submissions on spousal privilege.
It comes one day after Giesbrecht took to the stand for the first time to answer questions from prosecutors. He told court he was aware his wife had nine abortions. He also said he didn’t know he was going to be a father for the first until he got a call to come to the hospital.
Court has heard that all six of the infants found dead in the storage locker were likely full term or close to. Medical experts believe Andrea and Jeremy Giesbrecht are the likely parents.
The trial is expected to continue on August 29, 2016.