Volume 94, Issue 22

Friday, October, 6, 2000


UWO football: let there be night

Candidate charged for foiled bank heist

Windsor and Western discuss possible med school partnership

New arena delayed by nine months

Earning respect for Trudeau

Corroded Disorder

Candidate charged for foiled bank heist

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

A London City Council candidate was remanded for psychiatric assessment in a London court yesterday, after being charged in connection with an attempted bank robbery that occurred last week.

Defense counsel Mike Epstein, recommended his client Ali Mohammed Kaddoura, be remanded into custody for five days to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

"We interviewed him yesterday and the person who did [the interview] from my office had some concerns about the responses he was making," Epstein said, before the court yesterday morning.

The Crown agreed to Epstein's request and Kaddoura was remanded into custody until Oct. 11.

Police reports state a man walked into the Canada Trust bank at 1450 Ernest Street last Saturday and handed the teller a note demanding money and alleging he had bomb, said Const. Paul Martin of the London Police.

The teller handed over the money and the suspect left the bank, but was arrested within walking distance of the building by an LPD officer shortly thereafter, Martin added. Investigation revealed the package he left in the bank did not contain a bomb, he said.

The manager of licensing and elections for the City of London, Jamey Swift, confirmed Kaddoura is a registered candidate in London's municipal elections, to be held in November.

"He's officially filed his nomination papers for Ward 6," Swift said.

Megan Walker, who currently holds one of the two council seats in Ward 6, said she has learned to expect the unexpected as a politician and was not taken aback when she heard of the charges against Kaddoura.

"I think there are no surprises in politics," Walker said, adding she will not run for re-election this November, nor will the other Ward 6 councillor, Ben Veel.

Walker stressed it is important for voters to remember Kaddoura has not been convicted of any crime and is therefore innocent in the eyes of the law at this point.

One of Kaddoura's competitors in the Ward 6 race, Peter Mancini, said he is concentrating intently on his own campaign and the charges against Kaddoura will not affect how he runs the race.

"As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't change anything as far as our campaign is run," Mancini said. "This idea will be in the news for a couple of days and then that's it."

Swift confirmed Kaddoura is still an eligible candidate. While anyone imprisoned in a penal institution or correctional facility is disqualified from running in a city election, he explained, having to face charges does not debar someone from running for office.

If a candidate were elected while facing charges and then was subsequently convicted and imprisoned, he or she would lose the seat, since councillors automatically forfeit their positions if they miss three straight council meetings, Swift said.

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