Hamilton detective who admitted lying in court now faces criminal investigation

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A Hamilton police officer who admitted lying in court is the subject of a criminal investigation by an outside police force.

State and federal prosecutors also continue to review more than 30 cases involving Det. const. Hajanthan Ratnam, including several whose charges were recently stayed in court.

The Spectator reported exclusively on the case last month, in which the drug unit detective admitted in testimony to lying about an informant’s information about the presence of drugs at an address wanted by the police. police.

According to the transcript and audio recording of that February 8 hearing, he repeatedly admitted to lying when questioned by defense attorney Leora Shemesh.

“So you’re saying you lied under oath, is that true?” she asked.

“Correct,” Ratnam replied.

He told the court he was basing his answers on a search warrant document in front of him, not knowing that it was an outdated version and that the information in question was no longer redacted.

“I just look at the document in front of me. I just forgot,” the officer told the court, explaining why he lied.

Officers are not allowed to lie in court, even to protect confidential information. Typically, when asked a question that could potentially identify an informant or confidential information, an officer will seek guidance and explain any concerns. The police are not immune to perjury charges.

In response to the admitted lie, the Crown Office immediately withdrew the firearms charges and the Federal Crown stayed the drug charges against the couple pending trial.

Hamilton police were notified and a review was conducted to determine if a criminal investigation was warranted. Now police spokesman Jackie Penman confirms that a criminal investigation is underway.

“A criminal investigation is currently underway by an external police force,” she said, adding that once completed, the Professional Standards Branch, which is investigating whether officers broke the law on policing, will look into the matter.

Police declined to identify the outside police department conducting the investigation. Ratnam is not suspended.

Meanwhile, police are working with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) and the Hamilton Crown Attorney’s Office to identify cases that may be affected, Penman said.

A spokesman for the PPSC, which oversees federal prosecutors who prosecute drug cases, said he was aware of developments involving Ratnam and was working with police and the province’s attorney general.

All cases involving Ratnam will be reviewed, spokeswoman Sabrina Nemis said. “To date, the PPSC has identified over 30 cases for review, but the process is ongoing.”

Ratnam’s role in some cases has been a factor in some cases being withdrawn or stayed, she said. She did not specify how much.

The viewer is aware of at least two cases this week in Hamilton where the federal Crown stayed drug charges related to the detective.

It is not known how many cases may be affected.

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