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Judge agrees to publication ban for McKay's relatives at Sinclair inquiry

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Commissioner Ted Hughes granted the application for a publication ban by relatives of killer Karl Wes McKay to protect their identities when they testify at the inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Intertribal Child and Family Services opposed the publication ban request by three of McKay’s children and his former spouse.

McKay’s family members filed affidavits saying they were concerned that their familial connection to McKay being made public during their testimony at the inquiry puts their mental health and safety at risk.

Hughes said unlike the social workers who applied for such a ban earlier and lost, McKay’s relatives would be giving testimony about what they had seen with respect to Phoenix’s relationship with her family. Hughes said to identify the family members who’d been harassed after McKay was charged seven years ago with Phoenix’s murder would "further victimize" them.

Their affidavits said that their coworkers and classmates don’t know about their connection to McKay. When they testify at the inquiry, it will be by video link that only the commissioner can see but everyone in attendance at the hearing will be able to hear, said Hughes.

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