Bribery

Update: see previous page

Bribery of Officers and Attempting to Obstruct Justice (by attempting to bribe a police officer)

Both of the Offences listed above are criminal offences covered by the Criminal Code of Canada (See PART IV – OFFENCES AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OF LAW AND JUSTICE)

Bribery is a serious offence, both for the person or business offering the bribe, and for the individual or business accepting the bribe.

The conviction of a bribery charge carries with it, a potential jail sentence of fourteen (14) years (see section 120 of the Criminal Code below). The lesser charge of attempting to obstruct justice through the act of bribery, carries with it, a potential jail sentence of two (2) years or ten (10) years, depending on the severity of the act and the context in which the crime is carried out (see section 139 of the Criminal Code below)

There are motorists who offer police officers and court officials bribes, in an effort to ensure that the charge (s) they may potentially fact, go away. This form of corruption is frowned upon by all that are sworn to enforce the laws of the land. One of the reasons that officials in this capacity are well compensated, is to ensure that they will not be tempted by bribes, by those who would initiate this type of criminal conduct. OPP officers earn a good living and are the only police force in Ontario with a pension plan (50/30). Many Justices of the Peace in Ontario earned more than $260,000.00 in 2008 (this doesn’t include benefits).

If a motorist attempts to bribe a police officer, in relation to a particular charge, he/she should not be surprised when they are charged with the original charge, along with additional criminal charge(s). Often the criminal charge is much more serious, then the charge that the motorist was attempting to avoid.

Case in point: (see story)

A Toronto resident, 28 year old Mr. Yu Zhao, was pulled over on December 18, 2009 while speeding (travelling 160 km/h on a highway with a posted speed limit of 100 km/h) on Highway 416. As a result of travelling 60 km/h greater than the allowable speed, the OPP officer charged him with stunt driving.

Faced with huge fine, a suspension of his driver’s licence, the impoundment of his motor vehicle and the accumulation of six (6) demerit points and a considerable increase in his auto-insurance premiums or the loss of his auto insurance; Mr. Zhao offered the OPP Officer ($50) fifty dollars.

In response to the Mr. Zhao’s stunt, the OPP officer charged Mr. Zhao with stunt driving under section 172.1 of  the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and and also with the more serious charge of Bribery under section 120 of the Criminal Code.

The OPP officer was “quite taken aback by it and told him to put his money away and charged him,” Zhao’s lawyer, Mr. Richard Addelman, told the East Region, Ontario Court Justice, The Honourable Justice Jack D. Nadelle.

On Thursday, May 27, 2010 Mr. Yu Zhao plead guilty to the reduced charge (from “bribery” to  “attempting to obstruct justice”) of attempting to obstruct justice.

As a result of this incident, Mr. Zhao was subjected to the following:

  • He was charged with stunt driving and bribery
  • His Ontario Driver’s Licence was suspended for a week
  • His motor vehicle was taken away from him and was towed to the impoundment lot
  • He had to pay for the costs associated with the impoundment of his vehicle
  • He was convicted of this offence and was given a seven hundred ($700.00) fine
  • He accumulated six (6) demerit points on his Ontario Driver’s Licence
  • His auto insurance will skyrocket or will be revoked by his current private insurance company
  • On May 27, 2010 his criminal matter was dealt with and he agreed to plead guilty to a lesser offence of “attempting to obstruct justice”. As a result Justice Nadelle sentenced Mr. Zhao to the following:

  • He was criminally convicted of attempting to obstruct justice (as opposed to the more serious offence of “bribery”)
  • He was given an hour of community service for every dollar he used in the bribe attempt ($50 = 5o hours of community service)
  • He was handed down a “conditional discharge”
  • He was placed on three (3) months probation
  • He was ordered to pay a $50.00 victim fine surcharge.If Mr. Zhao keeps his money in his pockets and is not involved in any of these types of incidents in the near future, the conviction won’t remain on his criminal record.
  • Bribery of Officers

    120. Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years who:

    (a) being a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer or officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of criminal law, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent

    (i) to interfere with the administration of justice,

    (ii) to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence, or

    (iii) to protect from detection or punishment a person who has committed or who intends to commit an offence; or

    (b) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), or to anyone for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent that the person should do anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii).

    R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 120; 2007, c. 13, s. 4

    Obstructing Justice

    139 (1) Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding,

    (a) by indemnifying or agreeing to indemnify a surety, in any way and either in whole or in part, or

    (b) where he is a surety, by accepting or agreeing to accept a fee or any form of indemnity whether in whole or in part from or in respect of a person who is released or is to be released from custody,

    (c) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or

    (d) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    (2) Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner other than a manner described in subsection (1) to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

    (3) Without restricting the generality of subsection (2), every one shall be deemed wilfully to attempt to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice who in a judicial proceeding, existing or proposed,

    (a) dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person by threats, bribes or other corrupt means from giving evidence;

    (b) influences or attempts to influence by threats, bribes or other corrupt means a person in his conduct as a juror; or

    (c) accepts or obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a bribe or other corrupt consideration to abstain from giving evidence, or to do or to refrain from doing anything as a juror. R.S., c. C-34, s. 127; R.S., c. 2(2nd Supp.), s. 3; 1972, c. 13, s. 8.

    There are Different Forms of Bribery and they don’t always involve the exchange of monies:

    In this particular case, the Immigration Judge attempted to coerce a refugee claimant into having sex with him. In 2006 the refugee claimant met with the Judge (who had presided over her hearing and had not yet made a decision on her application) and taped the conversation (audio/video). The Immigration Judge was appointed to the Federal Immigration and Refugee Board in 2000. On April 20, 2010, the Immigration Judge was found guilty of a charge of bribery pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Breach of Trust. The former Immigration Judge faces five (5) years incarceration on each of the charges and will be sentenced by Ontario Superior Court Justice Madam Justice Thea P. Herman on Friday, June 4, 2010.

    Immigration and Refugee Protection Act 2001, c. 27

    Offences relating to officers

    129. (1) Every person is guilty of an offence who

    (a) being an officer or an employee of the Government of Canada, knowingly makes or issues any false document or statement, or accepts or agrees to accept a bribe or other benefit, in respect of any matter under this Act or knowingly fails to perform their duties under this Act;

    (b) gives or offers to give a bribe or consideration to, or makes an agreement or arrangement with, an officer to induce the officer not to perform their duties under this Act;

    (c) falsely personates an officer or by any act or omission leads any person to believe that the person is an officer; or

    (d) obstructs or impedes an officer in the performance of the officer’s duties under this Act.

    Punishment

    (2) Every person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both; or

    (b) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.

    See the Code of Conduct for Members of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

    Update: July 23/10 – Ex-Immigration Judge Apologizes for Crime

    Update: July 29, 2010 – Former Immigration Judge and Toronto City Councillor has been sentenced to eighteen (18) months imprisonment.
    His lawyer is planning on appealing the verdict and sentence. The Judge presiding over his trial accepted that the former Immigration Judge suffers from biopolar disorder, but wasn’t persuaded that the former Immigration Judge was in a “hypermanic state” at the time that the Immigration Judge committed the crime and therefore should not be held culpable for the crime he committeed. The Judge presiding over the trial and sentencing today, said the defence established Ellis suffers from bipolar disorder that may have impaired his judgment but “he knew what he was doing was wrong. . . . This was not an impulsive act.”

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