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Officer disagrees with chief that charges coming soon in Oland case

Richard Oland in 2010.

A police officer involved in the year-old investigation into Richard Oland's death testified Friday that he doesn't agree with his chief that charges are coming soon in the high-profile murder probe.

Constable Stephen Davidson of the Saint John police was testifying during court hearings on whether censored portions of search warrants in the New Brunswick businessman's death should be made public.

A lawyer for the CBC and New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, who have applied for the warrants to be unsealed, asked Constable Davidson whether he agreed with comments made last month by Saint John police Chief Bill Reid that an arrest was expected soon.

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"Would you agree with the chief that you believe as part of the investigation team that in a short period of time there would be an arrest?" David Coles asked.

"I wouldn't say it's a short period of time," Constable Davidson replied. "Evidence is continuing to come in and it has to be assessed at that time, given the evidence."

Chief Reid did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Constable Davidson also testified that police are only considering one suspect. Mr. Coles then asked if he remains confident investigators have the "right person in mind."

"Yes," Constable Davidson told provincial court.

Portions of seven search warrants were released Thursday that show that police believe Mr. Oland, 69, was murdered. Up until this point, they have only classified his death as a homicide, which doesn't necessarily mean he was intentionally slain. Nobody has been charged in the case.

Mr. Oland's body was found in his downtown Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

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Mr. Oland was a member of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries Ltd., but left the company in 1981. He also worked in the trucking business, at the Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., and as a director for several firms, including Eastern Provincial Airways, Newfoundland Capital Corp. and Ganong Bros.

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