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Appeal in Toronto Police Corruption Case

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Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/301996

Appeal in police corruption case

Attorney general's decision to fight judge's ruling on Toronto drug squad thwarts calls for inquiry

Feb. 9, 2008

Eight days after a judge shocked the court by staying corruption charges against six Toronto Police drug squad officers, Attorney General Chris Bentley has launched an appeal against the ruling.

Bentley's decision yesterday has stymied demands for a public inquiry into why it took prosecutors so long to bring the case to trial.

It has also left defence lawyers seething. "It's a tragedy and an utter waste of time," lawyer Peter Brauti said about the appeal. "The mistreatment of the officers continues."

The appeal could take as long as two years. The initial investigation into the officers' behaviour began in 1999. Bentley, who has been under pressure from the opposition parties and media to take action, emphasized that the decision to appeal was "not about politics."

The appeal could take as long as two years. The initial investigation into the officers' behaviour began in 1999. Bentley, who has been under pressure from the opposition parties and media to take action, emphasized that the decision to appeal was "not about politics."

"The ministry has decided to launch an appeal after a thorough review of it. I've been briefed on the matter and I concur," Bentley told the Star yesterday.

Justice Ian Nordheimer's decision blindsided the Liberal government and left the attorney general and Premier Dalton McGuinty scrambling to explain how the corruption charges could be tossed out in such a high-profile police corruption case.

The investigation placed now-retired staff sergeant John Schertzer and five colleagues under suspicion of, among other things, robbing and beating up drug dealers.

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