HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Police Lawyers Told To Clam Up
Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jul 2004
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Alan Cairns
Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)


Corruption Case Defence

Prosecutors in the Toronto Police drug squad corruption case have
demanded written undertakings from lawyers for six charged cops that
they will not release any of up to 200,000 pages of disclosure outside
the courtroom. The unprecedented request would restrict lawyers from
using the evidence in any other criminal or civil court case. All but
Toronto lawyer Morris Manning, representing former drug squad team
boss Staff Sgt. John Schertzer, have signed the undertakings.

Manning said yesterday that agreeing to the restrictions might not
only handicap his defence, but could stop the public from learning
"the whole picture."

Schertzer and five former members of the now-defunct central field
command drug squad were charged in January with a total of 40 Criminal
Code offences, ranging from extortion and assault to the falsification
of notes, police records and search warrants.

Milan Rupic, one of three Crown law office lawyers prosecuting the
drug squad criminal case, yesterday asked Ontario Court Justice Eugene
Ewaschuk to end the legal standoff.

Rupic told Ewaschuk the agreements will ensure "this stuff will not
seep out of ... these proceedings." There are fears the identity of
confidential police informants and the safety of others "could be
jeopardized," he added.

"My client has been devastated by this," Manning said outside court.
"It has been hanging over his head for a very long period of time ...
this is an abuse of process."

Ewaschuk asked Rupic to narrow down the material he wants restricted
and said he would give a ruling Sept. 1.
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