Rafay and Burns back in court appealing

Michael ShaprayNews

Legitimacy of sting operation in question

SEATTLE (NEWS1130) – Two West Vancouver men convicted of the gruesome murder of three family members in Bellevue in 1994 are in a US appeals courtroom today trying to have their convictions overturned.

A controversial “Mr. Big” sting operation has come into question.

News1130 Legal Analyst Michael Shapray says the tactic involved an undercover officer posing as a crime boss who recorded the confessions of Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay. “It does involve them essentially engaging in criminal activities and creating an entire ruse around the situation they’ve created. It’s almost like a movie set that gets created.”

Shapray says this has been approved in Canada but he doesn’t know if the tactic is used in the US. “People are all pretending to be something that they are not and then trying to relay on something that the target says as being truthful, and something that can be used in a court of law.”

A decision is expected in six to eight weeks.