Evidence Should Have Been Heard in A Court of Law: OPPA

BARRIE, ON, April 15 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) stands behind its officers who investigated and laid charges of speeding, cocaine possession and driving with over the legal limit (80 mgs) against Rahim Jaffer on Sept. 10 2009.

The Association is as shocked as the Canadian public is. Those charges were withdrawn and a charge of careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act was substituted to which Mr. Jaffer pleaded guilty. The question as to why the driving over 80 mgs was substituted for careless driving is one issue. The other issue which screams for an answer is why the Possession of Cocaine charge was withdrawn. The undisputed police information is the drugs were found on Mr. Jaffer when he was properly searched following his arrest.

"Our members conducted a thorough, professional and detailed investigation. They were prepared to have their evidence tested at court but were never given the opportunity," said Karl Walsh, president of the OPPA. "These officers did nothing wrong but are now being maligned by the very system they serve day in and day out."

A lawyer for the OPPA believes that if there were concerns about the police doing anything inappropriately, the proper course of action would be for Mr. Jaffer to bring a Charter application in open court and let a judge determine if there was any breach of his rights.

"Under these circumstances, any suggestion of a Charter violation should have been heard in open court. Even if there was a Charter violation, the evidence may still be admitted at trial and would not necessarily mean the charges would be dismissed against the accused," said Andrew McKay, counsel for the OPPA.

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police Association

For further information: For further information: Karl Walsh, President, OPP Association, (705) 728-6161

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