The Canadian Press

Vancouver: A defence lawyer at a mass murder trial in Vancouver is attacking the credibility of a witness who received nearly $1.5 million that went to a gangster-turned-witness in the form of cash payments, legal fees and other expenses.

Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston are each charged with conspiracy and six counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of six people, including two innocent bystanders, in Surrey, B.C., in October 2007.

Brock Martland, who represents Johnston, says police gave a witness known only as Person Y cash payments, a lucrative living allowance, money for a luxury car and tuition and other benefits that totalled almost $1 million.

The court heard Person Y also received just under half-a-million dollars to cover legal fees.

Martland says the money casts doubt on the reliability of Person Y, who is currently serving a life sentence for two unrelated murders.

Person Y claims Johnston confessed to him on two separate occasions, first on the day of the murders and then again the following year while Person Y wore a recording device for the police.