Ichim plans lawsuit against undercover officer

Lawsuits against police and police-related pertinent court decisions.

Ichim plans lawsuit against undercover officer

Postby Thomas » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:51 am

Ichim plans lawsuit against undercover officer, Toronto Police and Crown

TORONTO — Julian Ichim, the anti-poverty activist once accused of being a G20 co-conspirator, has filed a notice of claim to sue the Crown, Toronto police and his former “good friend” who was actually an undercover officer tasked with infiltrating activist groups.

In a notice filed with the Crown’s office Wednesday, Ichim alleges an Ontario Provincial Police constable violated his Charter rights and overstepped his lawful authority while working as an undercover police officer ahead of the June 2010 summit in Toronto.

Ichim claims, in part, the officer — who went by the name “Khalid Mohammed” — provided “false and misleading information” resulting in his unlawful arrest just before the G20. He also alleges he was beaten by Toronto police, strip-searched and subjected to “cruel and unusual treatment” at the G20 temporary jail.

The 32-year-old Kitchener resident, and former Guelph and Kitchener candidate for public office, is seeking $4 million in damages.

The undercover officer “attempted to manipulate the Plaintiff into making decisions that were objectively not in the interests of the Plaintiff and instead were in the interests of the police,” the notice of claim reads.

The defendants have not yet been served and the allegations have not been proven in court.

Ichim has 60 days to officially file his lawsuit with the courts.

An OPP spokesperson declined comment and Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash said it would be “irresponsible in the extreme to comment on something we haven’t even seen.”

Ichim — a longtime social activist who has been arrested dozens of times for protest actions — was among the first arrested on G20 conspiracy charges. On June 26, 2010, the first day of the two-day summit, he was at a Toronto Tim Hortons when a group of plainclothes officers whisked him into an unmarked van, according to his notice of claim.

Charges against him were dropped less than six months later. Ichim was charged again in December, however, for blogging about the undercover officer, whose name was protected by a court-ordered publication ban at the time.

According to his notice of claim, Ichim first met “Khalid Mohammed” on June 6, 2009, at an anarchist book fair at a Hamilton high school. The officer told Ichim he was a “Kenyan activist with Marxist political leanings,” and soon became a “good friend,” according to the claim.

He further alleges the officer “routinely encouraged actions against the Olympics and G8/G20” and entered Ichim’s residence and family home without a warrant.

Alan Young, a law professor at York University, said Ichim’s lawsuit is interesting but probably faces an uphill battle.

“The complaint that the plaintiff has would be a complaint that anyone would have with an undercover infiltration,” he said. “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of Canada has been pretty clear in saying the Charter doesn’t protect you from a poor choice of friends. Meaning, if you pick someone to be your friend and it happens to be an undercover cop, that’s your problem.”

Former Crown attorney Howard Morton, who defended one of the 17 so-called G20 ringleaders, said the allegation that the officer entered Ichim’s home unlawfully is an interesting one, however.

Had his client’s case gone to trial, Morton planned to bring that up as a part of his defence strategy — one of the other co-defendants in the conspiracy charges also wound up befriending an undercover officer, who actually moved in with her, he said.

“When the police want to go into your home as a police officer, they have to get a judge’s warrant,” he said. “But when they’re undercover they shouldn’t be allowed to go into people’s houses and live there.”

Ichim said his primary reason for bringing forward the lawsuit was to shed light on what really happened behind the scenes at the G20.

“I think the lawsuit is one way that I can break the silence by bringing evidence, by bringing people like ‘Khalid Mohammed’ forward,” he said. “The other reason I’m doing this is I have suffered and I have to take a stand.”

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