Why a publication ban related to the biggest drug bust every done in the Region?

By Staff

August 22, 2015



Halton Regional Police reported the largest drug bust in their history earlier this

The police reported on the number of raids they made and called the joint police force Project Icarus.

More than a dozen arrests were made and all kinds of evidence gathered.

There was a lot of evidence on display.

The Gazette sent a reporter out to gather details at the media event the police held and published a report.

The following day the police contacted the Gazette and asked (instructed) us to remove one of the names from the list of those arrested explaining that the person was subject to 517 publication ban.

We responded asking: What is a 517 publication ban ?

Regional Police Inspector Constantini did most of the explaining on the details of the police raids.

The police responded with:
A section 517 publication ban is a temporary ban which extends until the accused is discharged after the preliminary inquiry or the trial is completed, subject to any other court orders.

The purpose of the ban is to preserve the rights of the defendant to a fair trial, and the presumption of innocence. Further, the ban prevents public dissemination of information or evidence so that jurors make their decisions based only on admissible evidence presented during the trial. It is also intended to maintain the integrity of the evidence of any potential witness who may be called to testify in the case.

Members of the public and media are permitted to view and photocopy court files covered by a section 517 publication ban but, again, details covered by the ban cannot be published in any document, or broadcast or transmitted in any way until the ban ends.

All publication bans are noted in the court record. The Information or charging document (in the Ontario Court of Justice) or Indictment (in the Superior Court of Justice) is endorsed with “PUBLICATION BAN” and the appropriate section number of the Criminal Code is noted. Ministry staff are instructed to inform members of the public and the media wishing to have access to the court record that the matter is subject to a publication ban.

This should be an interesting trial when it takes place.

Related news story:

Biggest drug bust in Regional Police history.

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