OPP Pressed To Identify 19 Charged In Scientology Probe

Source: Globe and Mail
Date: December 21, 1984

Lawyers with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General say they will press the Ontario Provincial Police to release the names of 19 individuals charged in connection with an investigation into the Church of Scientology of Toronto.

All day yesterday, the OPP refused to release the names of the accused because they said not all of them had been served with a summons requiring them to appear in court next month. The OPP had promised on Wednesday that the names would be released in a press release yesterday.

The 19 former minor officials of the church, as well as the church itself, were charged on Tuesday with theft over $200, possession of stolen documents and breach of trust.

The summonses required them to appear in Provincial Court on Jan. 14 but they were not arrested. There are also some warrants for arrest of some individuals although it is not clear how many.

The charges were laid as a result of information sworn in front of a justice of the peace by OPP Detective-Sergeant Albert Ciampini on Dec. 1.

According to this information, among the 19 charged are employees of the OPP, Metro Toronto Police, the RCMP and the Ministry of the Attorney- General.

The documents mentioned in the information include photocopies of files belonging to the ministry, legal firms, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Ontario Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Metro Police, the RCMP, and the OPP.

The OPP and the ministry had been refusing to disclose the names because they said they were subject to a court order prohibiting publication issued Tuesday by Mr. Justice John Osler of the Supreme Court of Ontario.

Bruce MacDougall, a lawyer representing The Globe and Mail, said in an interview that withholding from the public the names of accused served with a summons contravenes the common law. He said that any document signed by a justice of the peace as a public official becomes a public document once it is executed.

He quoted Mr. Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada who in a 1982 judgment upheld the maxim "where there is no publicity, there is no justice." The charges came to light on Tuesday when Casey Hill, the Crown lawyer who has handled the Scientology investigation, told the Supreme Court that a justice of the peace had signed various summonses and warrants earlier in the day.

Mr. Hill was attending a hearing on a motion to allow the OPP to retain possession of the 250,000 documents seized in a police raid on the Church of Scientology's Toronto headquarters in March, 1983. The original court orders allowing the OPP to hold the documents expired Dec. 2 and the church's lawyers had planned to argue that police could not retain them unless charges were laid.

Judge Osler allowed Clayton Ruby, a church lawyer, to see the information that forms the basis of the charges on the condition that he not tell his clients. Mr. Ruby was released from his undertaking when the first summons was served.

The church released a copy of the OPP document on Wednesday with the names of the accused blacked out. Mr. Ruby has refused to divulge the names.

On Wednesday and yesterday, the police and the ministry said they could not release the names until they were released from Judge Osler's order.

But the court reporter at the hearing said yesterday that a review of the transcript showed clearly that there was no order from Judge Osler, only an undertaking by Mr. Ruby.

Mr. Hill promised reporters twice yesterday that he would raise the matter of the release of the names of the accused with Judge Osler but did not do so. When asked why not after court adjourned until Jan. 14, he replied: Oh, jeez, I forgot about it." Asked what recourse reporters had to obtain the names without his aid in rescinding any court orders, he said: "I assume The Globe has lawyers." Albin Kostecka, a justice of the peace in the records office at Old City Hall in Toronto, said yesterday that he could not release the names of those accused served with summonses because he had received no affidavits that they had been served.

The OPP said yesterday that 14 summonses had been served.

Late yesterday, Judge Osler met Mr. Hill, Crown attorney Bonnie Wein and church lawyer Michael Code in his chambers at Osgoode Hall. Carol McCall, a lawyer representing The Globe, and Brian Rogers, representing the Toronto Star, were allowed to attend and received Mr. Hill's assurance that he would telephone the OPP to let them know that the names could now be released.

He said the manner in which the names are released was entirely up to the police.

At 5:45 p.m., Ms Wein said she had left a message regarding the names with an answering service at OPP headquarters. Asked if she could be contacted later to see when the names would be released, she said: "I'll be at a Christmas party, if you can catch me there."

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