Nova Scotia justice minister refers Nicole Ryan case to RCMP watchdog

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's justice minister is asking the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to investigate how the Mounties handled a woman's call for help before she tried to hire a hit man to kill her husband.

Ross Landry says he's referring the matter to the RCMP watchdog because of calls from the public for an independent review of police actions into Nicole Ryan's case.

"It's important that Nova Scotians, especially those experiencing domestic violence, know that they can go to police for help," Landry said in a statement Wednesday.

"One of the reasons victims of domestic violence stay silent is that they don't believe people will listen. Government is listening, police are listening, the community is listening."

The Mounties carried out a review of their actions and concluded that they acted appropriately when fielding Ryan's complaints.

The review was conducted after the Supreme Court of Canada, in ordering a stay of proceedings last month in the Ryan case, also questioned the RCMP's conduct, saying it was "disquieting" they mounted a sting operation to arrest her rather than respond to her husband's "reign of terror" over her.

Ryan was arrested in 2008 when she tried to hire an undercover Mountie to kill Michael Ryan, who was accused in court documents of threatening to kill her and her daughter.

Michael Ryan denies he was abusive, but Nicole Ryan's lawyer says he has no doubt his client is telling the truth and the trial judges made a finding on evidence.

Organizations: RCMP, Commission for Public Complaints, Ryan's Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians

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