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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Dixon Road raids: Guns-and-gangs bail hearings proceeding smoothly

20:02 |

Toronto’s latest gang sweep, albeit one with an unprecedented twist, will now move into its next, predictable phase, if history is any guide. On Friday, a team of seven guns-and-gangs prosecutors assigned to Project Traveller were efficiently dealing with a list of about 35 defendants, moving quickly to consent to the release of people facing less serious charges and scheduling bail hearings for those in custody facing gangland, firearm and drug trafficking charges. Those hearings are expected to run until the end of June. While family members are anxious for bail hearings to take place, some lawyers think it is better to wait a few weeks until the glare of publicity dies down. “This is a crisis-type atmosphere which does not serve the interests of the accused in obtaining bail,” defence lawyer Dirk Derstine said Friday in the Finch Ave. W. courtroom where Project Traveller has landed. “My experience is it’s better to wait for the crisis to dissipate to get the fairest hearing.” But Nathan Gorham, the lawyer for Muhammad Khattak, says he’s working toward a quick bail review “because my client is seriously injured and needs medical attention, he has no criminal record, and there are significant questions about the strength of the allegations at this point in time.”

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