Lawyer Calls on Police Board to Track and Discipline Officers Who Mislead or Lie To Courts


see source  

Prominent defence lawyer Clayton Ruby has called on the Toronto Police Services Board to develop a policy which tracks and disciplines officers who lie in court.

Following his deputation Thursday, the board agreed to have chairman Alok Mukherjee and Police Chief Bill Blair discuss the issue and report back to the board.

Officers found to give dishonest testimony currently fall into “a black hole,” Ruby told the board.

Blair rejected that contention, saying he takes full responsibility for his officers’ conduct.

“We are very mindful . . . that any allegation must be investigated,” he said. “These matters are investigated and are reported annually in a professional standards report. Mr. Ruby is not aware of that oversight. The suggestion that this is not taken seriously is inaccurate.”

Ruby produced two articles that appeared this month in the Star about officers who had fabricated testimony.

In one case, a judge dismissed fraud charges against four men after finding that an officer, identified as Const. Dion Monahar, “either fabricated or concealed evidence” about his reasons for searching their van.

In another case, a judge tossed out drug charges against a Seneca College student after finding that Const. Scott Aikman “was evasive and contrived” in his testimony.

Ruby said any officer found to have misled the court is “a shame and a disgrace.”

“I can’t find anybody who has been disciplined for lying to a court,” he told the board.

Asked about this after the meeting, Blair would not confirm if an officer has ever been disciplined for lying as a witness.

Mukherjee said the Police Services Act is “silent” on the areas referred to by Ruby.

As to the cases cited by Ruby, Blair told the board the police officers involved weren’t the ones on trial and there was “reasonable doubt” in assessing the testimony of all witnesses.

“It was not a finding against a police officer per se,” Blair said.

Ruby recommended that crown attorneys report judicial findings of dishonest court conduct to the police board. He also called on Blair to order a transcript of the reasons for such decisions and to report that to the board.

It's only fair to share...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterestshare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.