KEITH FRASER / Publishing date: Nov 01, 2011  •  November 2, 2011

A lawyer for accused killer Jean Ann James says his client made a false confession that she murdered her friend after discovering the friend was having an affair with James’ husband.

The motive for Jean Ann James murdering her friend was that she was in a jealous rage over news Gladys Wakabayashi was having an affair with her husband, a prosecutor argued Wednesday.

During final submissions, Crown counsel Kerr Clark told a jury that James, 72, felt betrayed after discovering the affair and drove to Wakabayashi’s Shaughnessy home.

He said the evidence from a confession James made to undercover cops shows that she used a box cutter to slit her friend’s throat.

“Jealous rage and betrayal is a very good reason for someone to be very, very angry,” he told the jury.

Clark noted James herself confessed that she had a plan and acted deliberately, methodically destroying all evidence of the crime.

James has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the June 1992 slaying of Wakabayashi, the daughter of a Taiwanese billionaire.

No charges were initially laid in the police investigation but the file was re-opened in 2007 and an 11-month-long police sting launched.

James is captured confessing to the murder at a meeting with a police undercover officer posing as a crime boss at a Montreal hotel in November 2008.

Clark said there may be some discrepancies in the details James gave of the murder, but he argued that was understandable given the passage of time.

He said there was evidence James’s husband, Derek James, had had other affairs but that the accused’s anger at Wakabayashi was heightened by the fact she was a friend, not a stranger.

“One thing that’s very clear is that this was a very, very violent attack. It’s a crime that only can be committed by someone with exceeding anger and resentment.”

He added: “It appears it was almost an attempt at a decapitation.”

Aseem Dosanjh, James’s lawyer, told the jury police stings like the one targeting his client result in confessions which, by their very nature, are unreliable and which some would say are “notoriously” unreliable.

“I want to be clear, this is not a DNA case, this is also not a fingerprint case. This is a false-confession case.”

Dosanjh said the lack of hold-back evidence — evidence that would only be known to the killer — should raise a reasonable doubt for the jury. client made a

“If the design of the undercover operation has flaws in it, that should raise concerns and that would raise a doubt.

“And if the police put too much pressure on a 69-year-old woman, that is a flaw and should also raise a doubt.”

Dosanjh argued the police investigation that led to the “so-called” confession lacked reliability safeguards.

“Mrs. James’s version of events in that video recording is just not reliable. It’s not reliable because she did not do this crime.

“She is making up a story, putting together various pieces of second-hand information she had available to her and trying to make it all seem consistent and impressive.”

B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Catherine Bruce told the jury she expects to give them final instructions on Thursday before they begin deliberations.