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Top court orders files tied to Sherman murder case unsealed, citing public interest

Last Updated Jun 11, 2021 at 11:41 am EDT

Barry and Honey Sherman are shown in a handout photo from the United Jewish Appeal. Toronto police say the deaths of Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were a "double homicide.'' THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-United Jewish Appeal MANDATORY CREDIT

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a trove of files related to murder victims Barry and Honey Sherman be unsealed and opened to public access.

The unanimous decision found that trustees of the wealthy Toronto couple’s estate failed to establish a serious risk to their safety and privacy, and that public interest and the principle of open court proceedings require unlocking the files.

In June 2018, a lower court judge issued an order protecting the files, which concern the appointment of estate trustees and would ordinarily be available for public inspection.

The order stemmed from the notion that individuals named as beneficiaries or trustees of the estates would be at risk of harm because the Shermans were found murdered in their home.

That decision has now been set aside, affirming an Appeal Court ruling that lifted the sealing order and marking a win for Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan, an appellant who applied to have the files opened up and wrote extensively about the sensational case over the past three and a half years.

Barry Sherman was the billionaire chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc. who was found murdered with his wife in their house on Dec. 15, 2017.

The couple were philanthropists and well-known members of Toronto society, sparking intense interest in their deaths and the resulting police investigation.

Homicide detectives say they have numerous persons of interest and a theory of what happened but they aren’t going public with more information.

The murders remain unsolved and the investigation is ongoing.

Sherman, 75, was known for litigiousness and aggressive business practices as he developed Apotex, which had a global workforce of about 11,000. In “Prescription Games,” a 2001 book about the industry, he mused that a rival might want to kill him.

The couple made numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities and had buildings named in their honour. They hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Liberal Party fundraiser in 2015.

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