Guelph police defend decision not to publicize Ontario MP's arrest - InfoNews

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Guelph police defend decision not to publicize Ontario MP's arrest

Marwan Tabbara is seen in this official House of Commons portrait in Ottawa on November 22, 2019. Police in southwestern Ontario say they didn't inform the public about assault charges against a member of Parliament because higher-ups within the force didn't believe he posed a significant risk to the public. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Mélanie Provencher, House of Commons Photo Services *MANDATORY CREDIT*
June 11, 2020 - 4:11 PM

GUELPH, Ont. - Police in southwestern Ontario say they didn't inform the public about assault charges against a member of Parliament because the force didn't believe he posed a significant risk to the public.

Marwan Tabbara, who represents the riding of Kitchener South-Hespeler in Parliament, was arrested on April 10 and charged with assault, break and enter and harassment, but the Guelph Police Service did not make that information public.

In a release on Thursday, police cited a section of the Police Services Act that says chiefs of police — and their designates — have the right to release information to the public if they believe the accused person poses a risk to the public and making the information available would reduce that risk.

They say the police service's media relations unit was not informed of Tabbara's arrest.

News of the charges against the two-term MP didn't come out until last week, when Tabbara said he would be taking a "step back" from the Liberal caucus.

The Prime Minister's Office said it only learned about the charges last Friday morning and was "looking into the matter."

Police say they won't be releasing any more information about the charges against Tabbara.

His next court appearance is scheduled for June 19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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