Criminal Law

Ghomeshi's mom is surety for his bail so he must live with her

Former CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi is required to live with his mom as a condition of his bail – set at $100,000 – and it’s likely because she provided the surety for his release, Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia tells Chatelaine magazine. Yahoo

Gadhia says it is the defence’s obligation to provide a surety (or bail guarantor) and his lawyer, Marie Henein, would have had discussions with the Crown prosecutor about the terms and conditions of his release.

“Mr. Ghomeshi is in a position to sign $100,000 – or at least his mother is – so she probably has to show that she is good for that money by (proving) that she owns her home,” she says. “And because she was the surety on the bail, it was agreed that he would reside at her address.”

Ghomeshi has been charged with seven counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. A judge recently granted his legal team more time to assess the evidence before a preliminary hearing is set.

The Chatelaine article looks at the issue of Ghomeshi’s bail conditions, which include that he remain in Ontario and live with his mother. The magazine addresses the reasons why the criminal-justice system requires that a 47-year-old man live with his mom.

Gadhia explained the logistics of bail conditions in Canada, and how bail guarantors are selected.

“In Jian Ghomeshi’s case, he’s charged with some very serious, very significant sexual assaults, along with choking, which is an indictable offence,” she tells the magazine. “So despite the fact that Ghomeshi has never been charged before, the Crown wanted to make sure that it was clearly understood (by Ghomeshi, the surety and the media) that these are serious charges, so they imposed a significant bail."

Gadhia says surety bails are becoming the norm and it's not surprising that Ghomeshi has to live with the person who's actually signed such a significant amount.

She also detailed the Criminal Code’s specific requirements for sureties, which include: that the surety not have a criminal record; that they don’t have any outstanding charges; they must also be a Canadian citizen who is older than the age of 18 (but preferably over the age of 25).

“In a case such as Ghomeshi’s, where it’s sensationalized and being played out in the media, I don’t know whether or not (choosing his mom as surety) was done to make him look better,” Gadhia says. “I think his mom is probably the one person he can turn to who is prepared to sign $100,000. Not many people have friends who are prepared to (do that) for them.”

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