Canada: Would-be Ontario PC candidate sues Toronto police for $12M over leak of arrest record in smear campaign - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Would-be Ontario PC candidate sues Toronto police for $12M over leak of arrest record in smear campaign

16:45  20 november  2019
16:45  20 november  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

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A Woodbridge man is suing Toronto police for million after being kneed and punched repeatedly during what they now acknowledge was a mistaken arrest . Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash acknowledged that Bola was wrongly arrested but said the context of the arrest is important.

Ohenhen was arrested on Aug. 21, 2008 and charged with drug and firearm offences, as well as resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. In 2010, a judge ruled that Ohenhen’s version of his arrest , including the allegation that Toronto police planted drugs on him, to be a “fabrication” and

a man wearing a suit and tie: Nick Gahunia, a former candidate for the PC nomination in Brampton Centre riding.© J.P. Moczulski for Postmedia/File Nick Gahunia, a former candidate for the PC nomination in Brampton Centre riding.

A would-be Conservative candidate is suing the Toronto police for over $12 million, alleging its officers “thwarted the democratic process” by leaking confidential police documents for use in a smear campaign against him.

The lawsuit by Nick Gahunia raises the stakes significantly in an unusual case of political dirty tricks revolving around alleged police misconduct.

Gahunia was disqualified as a candidate for the Progressive Conservative nomination in a Toronto-area riding just before last year’s provincial election. The party took the action after letters containing internal arrest reports mentioning the 29-year-old were mailed to various community members in Brampton, Ont.

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The confidential records , which deal with the aborted drug arrest of the would - be candidate and two others in 2016, were mailed out to Tories in Brampton. Ontario ’s privacy watchdog has launched an investigation into the leak of police documents that were used to try to smear a potential Progressive

A Toronto -area police force is investigating an apparent leak after confidential police documents about an aborted drug arrest were used to try to discredit a man vying to be a candidate for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

The law-school graduate has no criminal record.

A Toronto fraud detective was charged earlier this year with disciplinary offences for obtaining the documents and passing them to another, unnamed member of the force. That person is also under investigation.

The officers’ “extreme, flagrant and outrageous” actions betrayed public trust in the police, says the lawsuit filed Tuesday on Gahunia’s behalf by prominent Toronto criminal lawyer Frank Addario.

“The defendants interfered with a Canadian election and thwarted the democratic process,” said the statement of claim launching the suit. “They expected that a leak about (Gahunia’s) past involvement with the police would frighten his political party and destroy his candidacy. Their tactic worked. They abused police resources to interfere with the Brampton nomination.”

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Candidates must be nominated by at least 100 party members, must agree to abide by the party's existing platform for the next election, and must be approved by the party's nominations committee as a PC candidate for the 2018 provincial election.[ 12 ].

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The suit also targets an unknown civilian — named as John Doe — who mailed out the documents.

The allegations have not been tested in court, though many of the facts are based on a report issued in January by Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD).

Gahunia said he wants the lawsuit to fill in missing information, such as who else, other than the one officer already charged, was involved. Det.-Const. Soon Lum’s case is still pending before the Toronto police disciplinary tribunal.

“This has destroyed my life,” Gahunia told the National Post by email. “I just want justice. I want to know why this public assassination was done on me.”

The Toronto officer on long-term leave who requested that Lum search for records on the Conservative — and then passed them on to whoever distributed them — has yet to be identified, or face any charges.

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Gahunia considered himself to be the front-runner in the race for the Brampton Centre Progressive Conservative nomination, having recruited 3,000 of the riding’s 5,000 members and already serving as riding association president.

But in late April, packages containing copies of the internal police reports were circulated, the recipients ranging from then-Brampton mayor Linda Jeffrey to a Sikh temple and the National Post.

Prefaced with an appeal to “clean the rot,” they describe Gahunia’s encounters with the police over an alleged credit card fraud when he was 18, resulting in a charge being laid and then withdrawn, and a 2016 traffic stop for suspected cocaine possession, which saw Gahunia and other passengers in an SUV freed within half an hour.

Then on April 21, former Conservative president Jag Badwal — appointed by Premier Doug Ford recently as Ontario’s agent-general in Dallas, Tx. — prohibited him from vying to be the party’s Brampton Centre candidate. Gahunia has also been banned from running for the federal Conservatives, the statement of claim says.

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Toronto Police Service Access & Privacy Section, RMS 40 College Street Toronto ON M5G 2J3. Records of Arrest . General Occurrences; Incident Reports. Criminal Records (Note: Criminal records , as held by the Toronto Police Service, will only be released with verification of fingerprints

Toronto police have confirmed Ontario Progressive Conservative party candidate and police officer Roshan Nallaratnam is facing a professional standards “The ominous threat is even more chilling given that Nallaratnam is a Toronto Police Officer,” the statement said. “Will Doug Ford denounce

a man wearing a suit and tie:  Nick Gahunia© J.P. Moczulski for Postmedia/File Nick Gahunia

Lum was approached in January 2018 by a fellow Toronto officer on long-term leave to search for police records on Gahunia, the OIPRD found. He accessed arrest reports from Peel Regional Police through a system allowing forces to share their internal documents. Lum falsely indicated that he wanted the records because Gahunia was a person of interest in an investigation he was then leading.

Gahunia complained to both Peel police and the OIPRD in April 2018. The Peel force identified the source of the leak that month, but the OIPRD did not begin interviewing witnesses until September 2018, issuing its confidential report this January. The report’s contents — alleging police involvement in the smear campaign — are public only because the Post obtained a copy.

Lum has been charged with breach of confidence, insubordination and neglect of duty. Toronto police have offered to provide their evidence against him to Gahunia, if he signs a non-disclosure agreement.

The statement of claim accuses the defendants of invasion of privacy, breach of confidence, defamation, conspiracy, “misfeasance of public office,” negligence and intentional infliction of mental distress.

• Email: tblackwell@postmedia.com | Twitter: tomblackwellNP

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