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The Managing Director of The Defence Group, Arun S. Maini, was recently interviewed by CBC television’s “The National” about corruption within an elite drug squad of the Toronto Police Service. As a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Maini has knowledge of the inner workings of the police department, Crown Attorney’s office and the courts. In recent years, a series of scandals broke involving a small group of drug squad officers who allegedly stole money from suspects and a fund used to pay confidential informants. One important issue in such a situation is whether allegations of this nature compromise all of the other cases these police officers were involved in. The producers of the CBC documentary were examining the actions of federal prosecutors from the Justice Department. Prosecutors in Toronto had been secretly and systematically “staying” prosecutions that were potentially tainted. A “stay of proceedings” is a prosecutorial tool that permits the Crown to terminate a case without explanation and without disclosure. Such tactics raise ethical issues about the role of the Crown and whether they have a duty to investigate and to disclose instances of corruption within the system, rather than to conceal and distract attention from illegal acts by police. As a former federal prosecutor and a defence lawyer, Mr. Maini is uniquely qualified to comment on such important societal issues.

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