Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Law: A Real Life John Grisham Type Case Going on in a Toronto Courtroom, Unknown to Canadian Press and Potentially Explosive


LAW & DISORDER: Netflix, HBO, and Dick Wolf: if you’re looking for the material for a mini-series, there is one developing right now in Toronto’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice. I’ve been following an extraordinary legal proceeding in Toronto for some three years now that proves that Canada’s judicial system is not what the world believes. It’s an eye opener.

Each new chapter in this shocking legal drama that is playing out right now, north of the border, is like something for the Toronto Film Festival. (The courthouse is across the street from the hotel I stay in, which helps.) When all the details come out– which will be soon– I expect Netflix or HBO will be anxious to develop the story as a multi part procedural that has Kafka-esque tones to it.

Right now, I’m not identifying the case, which has gone on for some time under the noses of the Canadian press. It’s actually outrageous. I have some of the paperwork here, and reading it is mind blowing. I thought– I’ll bet we all think– Canadian trials are a matter of passing out daisies, and no one has ulterior motives. But as this case has unfolded, the federal court in Toronto is no day at the beach.

These proceedings suggest a level of dishonesty in the Canadian judicial system that resembles a third world country. This proceeding has been marked by judges bending the law to suit their own purposes, judges obstructing justice, prosecutorial misconduct, and corrupt police destroying evidence. It reads like a real world “The Firm” by John Grisham.

The judge in this real life judicial hell actually instructed the jury that they did not have to find beyond a reasonable doubt the key fact of the prosecution’s case. I’m aware of potential evidence that the police in this case systematically deleted evidence that the accused needed to mount a full and fair defense. And all this occurred in what we thought was peaceful, placid Canada. There’s also something about the judge that would make Judge Judy’s new ponytail stand up.

Right now, the attorney in this case– well known and respected– is trying to get the case stayed. I’ve been asked not to reveal more until that’s resolved. I’m not being coy, just measured. But if these potential judicial prosecutorial and police abuses continue and this case is not stayed —  which would be the just and fair outcome — then we’ll approach as it our own mini-series. Call it “Terror in a Toronto Courtroom.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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