RCMP officer sues police force

The case related to the Taylor Van Diest murder in Armstrong

The RCMP is being sued by an officer involved in a high-profile local murder case.

Const. Milan Ilic, who found Taylor Van Diest, 18, alongside railway tracks in Armstrong in 2011, has filed a notice of civil claim against the police force in B.C. Supreme Court.

Ilic, who lives in Kamloops,  claims that the RCMP accused him of drinking that night.

“The effects of these unresolved and serious allegations, which relate to issues of honesty and integrity  have compromised him not only within the force, but also with the public,” states the notice of claim.

Prior to providing testimony in the murder case in 2014, Ilic says he was asked by defence counsel if he had thrown out a bottle of liquor that was found at the scene.

“He denied any involvement with any liquor bottle or discarding it at the scene,” says the claim.

A witness went on to testify at the trial that she had seen the police officer discard a bottle. Following this, Ilic met with other officers where the case was discussed further.

“The interview, which then took on the character of an interrogation, turned to whether the plaintiff was drinking that night….” states the claim. “All of this was flatly denied by the plaintiff.”

Documents indicate that a notice of code of conduct investigation was served on Ilic April 28, 2014. It was alleged that he conducted himself “in a disgraceful manner” during the trial and during a meeting with other officers.

Ilic was ordered to the Vernon detachment Aug. 25, 2014 and he was suspended.

The notice of claim goes on to say that the bottle was ultimately tested for DNA but there was no DNA profile on the bottle.

The suspension was lifted in July 2015, but he has been on sick leave since that time due to post-traumatic stress syndrome related to the 2011 murder.

The notice of claim says Ilic’s reputation has been harmed within the RCMP.

“The fact that the process is  unresolved has left him without any avenue to prove his innocence, leaving a further permanent stain on any further potential career in the RCMP.”

Ilic is seeking general damages, special damages, past loss of income, future loss of income, diminished loss of earning capacity, loss of benefits and pension, and costs.

When contacted, the RCMP stated, “We understand that a notice of civil claim has been filed. We will review the claim and the RCMP’s official response will be filed in our statement of defense and it is likely any other comments will be reserved for the courtroom.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.