HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Bill Would Help Police To Seize Proceeds Of Crime
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Oct 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Elizabeth Thompson, The Montreal Gazette
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Police and prosecutors may soon get a new tool in the fight against 
organized crime, making it easier to seize everything from cars to homes of 
those convicted of gangsterism.

A new bill tabled yesterday by Bloc Quebecois MP Richard Marceau calls for 
the burden of proof to be reversed once someone is convicted of 
gangsterism. Instead of prosecutors having to prove that goods belonging to 
the person convicted were obtained as a result of criminal activity, the 
burden will be on the criminal to prove the goods were earned honestly.

The bill does not provide for any exceptions for the spouses or dependent 
children of those who commit crimes. Officials would have the right to 
seize a home of someone convicted of gangsterism, sell it and turn the 
proceeds over to the government even if it means the wife and children of 
the person convicted would lose their home as well.

"If it's a wife, if it's a kid, if it is a girlfriend -- nobody should 
benefit from an illegal activity. Those are are crocodile tears," said 
Conservative justice critic Vic Toews.

While private members bills often fall by the wayside, Mr. Marceau's bill 
has the support of the Conservatives, the Bloc and the New Democrats -- 
giving it the support of the majority of MPs in the house. 
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