Pubdate: Mon, 07 May 2012
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 The Toronto Star
Author: Betsy Powell


Some 15 hours after kidnappers set him free, Simion Ternar says, he
met Toronto Police Const. Ioan-Florin Floria, who assured him he would

Instead of bringing the kidnappers to justice, it is Floria who is on
trial this week, having pleaded not guilty to six offences, including
breach of trust, obstruction of justice, accessory after the fact to
kidnapping, and money laundering.

That first meeting was one of four. Ternar said he contacted Floria, a
fellow Romanian whom he knew socially, to help him find out who
abducted and tortured him in November 2005.

"I knew he was a police officer and that maybe he could help me,"
Ternar said through a Romanian interpreter. Adding to his caution was
the fact the kidnappers had threatened to kill him if he contacted
police, he told the Superior Court jury.

Ternar says he heard one of the kidnappers speaking Romanian. The
31-year-old was doing maintenance at a marijuana grow-op in an
apartment on Thorncliffe Park Dr. when he was snatched from a parking
lot as he left a gym on Eglinton Ave. E.

The kidnappers called the grow-op owner and threatened to kill his
children if he didn't pay ransom. The owner paid $200,000 and Ternar
was released.

At their first meeting, Floria told Ternar not to call police nor go
to the hospital, "or if you go, tell them you went skiing and fell,"
Ternar testified.

Ternar said his face was badly swollen and his lip cut. "I looked like
a disaster. You'd have to have known me very well to recognize me."

Floria knew of his involvement in the grow-op, he said.

At a subsequent meeting, Floria brought photos seized from a
surveillance camera. One showed Ternar walking into the gym and
another captured a man who, 'based on my description, this could be a
kidnapper,'" Ternar said.

"He (Floria) wasn't able to obtain one that shows the

Another photo captured Ternar's car and the kidnapper's minivan
without the licence plate visible.

"They look professional," Ternar said Floria told him. "That's when he
said they might be police because they worked perfectly." The dates
had all been removed from the photos.

At their last meeting, Floria was wearing his uniform.

"That's when he asked me ... 'Did you think Stefan Karpacs did this?' I
said no," Ternar said. Karpacs was a close friend of Floria, the court
heard earlier.

By December 2005, Ternar, who is a Canadian citizen, had returned to
Romania. Eleven months later, back in Toronto, he finally contacted

He broke down Monday when Det. Sgt. Joel Kulmatycki, who conducted the
internal affairs investigation, held up the soiled track suit Ternar
wore while he was being tortured.

The trial continues Tuesday. 
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