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NEWS > 20 September 2006

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The Thai police A law unto the
IN THAILAND'S most sensational crimes, the prime suspects are often the police. Among current cases are a group of border police accused of abducting innocent people and extorting money from them, and a huge car-theft ring thought to have been run by bent coppers. The prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, this month sacked the national police chief, Sereepisut Taemeeyaves, for alleged corruption. Mr Sereepisut insists he is the victim of a conspiracy by crooked subordinates.

Earlier this month the justice minister visited Chalor Kerdthes, a former police general serving life in jail, bel... Read more

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CNews Canada
20 September 2006
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Toronto cops made deal with th

Toronto cops made "secret deals" with mobsters during a massive probe into alleged police corruption in the Entertainment District, a tribunal was told yesterday.

The hush-hush deals with "high-ranking mobsters" should never have been made, lawyer Peter Brauti said.

And wiretaps were obtained through "false and misleading information" given to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Brauti told an ongoing internal hearing presided over by Toronto Police Supt. Bob Strathdee.

The stunning statements were made by Brauti at the hearing of decorated police veteran Hugh Wong on a corrupt practice charge.

Brauti didn't elaborate on the "secret deals" or identify the mobsters.

Wong was among numerous cops charged under the police act in April 2004 after a massive wiretap-based probe of the former 52 Division plainclothes unit which patrolled Toronto's Entertainment District
That probe was an offshoot of an RCMP investigation into major mob families that has yet to see any mobsters charged.

Four cops were charged criminally, among them Billy McCormack, the son of former police chief Bill McCormack Sr., and Rick McIntosh, a former 52 Division cop who was the former head of the Toronto Police Association.

It was alleged that McCormack and McIntosh were implicated in a kickback scheme in the Entertainment District. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

McIntosh and McCormack and two other cops are involved in a lengthy and complicated preliminary hearing that is covered by a publication ban.

Brauti, who represents McIntosh in the criminal case and who joined Wong's lawyer Andrew McKay at the tribunal yesterday, told Strathdee the wiretaps used in the criminal and internal cases are connected.

Noting that Wong was initially charged 2 1/2 years ago, Brauti said prosecutors have yet to disclose to the defence the materials used to get the wiretaps.

Brauti said those materials were previously under a court seal, but were unsealed during the McCormack-McIntosh preliminary hearing.

After shocking the tribunal with the assertion that internal affairs cops were in bed with the mob, Brauti added that the "secret deals ... may seem sensational, but it doesn't mean it is not true."

Not only has the prosecution failed to turn over the wiretap authorizations to Wong, but they have "not even looked at the material for what they might see and their fear of how they might have to respond if they see the material," Brauti said.

"They realize this is a problem ... they realize it will be embarrassing, disastrous ... it is not going to be pleasant," he said.

Brauti and McKay argued that Strathdee should either hear the case against Wong without the wiretap evidence or dismiss the case.

"(Wong) has won national police awards. He is a highly decorated officer with an exemplary service record," he said.

McKay said outside court that the allegations against Wong have been taken out of context.

Prosecutors assert that Wong called Billy McCormack asking for the delay of a liquor licence on a premise. It is alleged the delay would have increased the property's sale price.

"That is not true. That is false. He adamantly denies any wrongdoing," McKay said.

Noting the lengthy delays in Wong's case -- it was his 17th appearance, Strathdee adjourned the hearing until Dec. 5.

He urged prosecution and defence lawyers to meet and work out their differences.


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