B.C. gang leader had own motive to kill target in mass killing: defence

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VANCOUVER - A lawyer for one of two men on trial for a mass killing in the Vancouver area says a former gang leader who defected to the Crown had his own motive in the murders.

Michael Le is under cross-examination at the trial of Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer, who are each charged in the deaths of six people whose bodies were found in a condominium in Surrey, B.C., in October 2007.

The Crown alleges the murders were part of a hit on rival drug trafficker Corey Lal, but five others, including two innocent victims, were also killed to eliminate witnesses.

Le, who pleaded guilty last November, has insisted the murders were not his idea, and instead that another leader in the gang, Jamie Bacon, ordered Lal's execution.

But at trial, Haevischer's lawyer, Simon Buck, accused Le of also having a motive to have Lal killed, because Lal and his partner, Eddie Narong, refused to buy drugs from Le.

Buck told the court that other people connected to the gang have said Le met with Lal and Narong in the weeks leading up to the murders to demand they get drugs from him, but Le insisted the meeting never happened.

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, Surrey

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