Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada iStock

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday that documents relating to the estate of murdered billionaire couple Honey and Barry Sherman should be unsealed, CTV News reported.

In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that the media may access files pertaining to who would inherit the couple’s money and assets.

The estate sought to have the files sealed, arguing that the parties concerned should be spared from further intrusion into their privacy and that the release of the documents could put their safety at risk.

The seal was granted by a judge, but the Toronto Star newspaper challenged it in court, arguing that it violated the principle of open courts, as well as their constitutional rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

While the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upheld the seal, the paper appealed the decision and won.

In Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court said that privacy concerns can justify a sealing order on an estate only if the dignity of the individual in question is at risk. The court found the information contained in the documents did not meet that threshold and that lawyers for the estate failed to prove that the safety of those associated with the documents would be at risk if they were unsealed.

The Shermans were found hanging by belts from a railing next to a swimming pool at their Toronto mansion in late 2017.

Police sources initially said the case was being considered as a murder-suicide, but police said several weeks later that they were investigating the deaths as a double homicide.

Police had previously said both died of “ligature neck compression,” but have released few other details about the investigation, other than the fact that they considered their deaths “suspicious”.

The Sherman family criticized police handling of the deaths and hired a private investigator of their own to look into the case. The private investigation came to an end in December 2019.

Toronto police have said that they continue to investigate the murders.

In November, police confirmed that there was a “person of interest” in the case who had been identified but not arrested.

Barry Sherman founded Apotex in 1974 and turned it into one of the largest generic drugmakers before stepping down as chief executive in 2012.

He and his wife were known for their donations to hospitals, universities and Jewish organizations.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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