MANDEL: Man accused of killing Toronto cop free on bail

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In an unusual decision, the man accused of first-degree murder in the death of veteran Toronto Police Const. Jeffrey Northrup this summer has been released on $335,000 bail.

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But why?

We aren’t allowed to know.

Umar Zameer, 31, must live under house arrest with his sureties and be under electronic surveillance. He also has to surrender his passport.

The release of an accused police killer is rare but the reasons for Justice Jill Copeland’s decision are covered under a publication ban that is routine in bail decisions.

Zameer’s lawyer agrees the public deserves to know why his client has been freed to await trial.

“The publication ban prevents me from discussing the evidence from the hearing or the reasons that led to the Court to conclude that Mr. Zameer should get bail,” lawyer Nader Hasan said in a statement emailed to the Toronto Sun.

“We have advised the Court and the Crown of our intention to seek to vary the terms of the publication ban so that the public will better understand this case and why the Court reached this decision.”

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Northrup, 55, died July 2 after being run down in the underground parking lot beneath City Hall. The 31-year officer and his partner were both in plainclothes at the time while investigating a stabbing.

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Premier Doug Ford expressed his outrage on Twitter.

“This is beyond comprehension,” he said of Zameer’s bail. “Our justice system needs to get its act together and start putting victims and their families ahead of criminals.”

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Zameer’s lawyer acknowledged the public is “inevitably curious” about why someone charged with a serious crime has been released on bail.

“We can only respond that there is much more to this case and to this tragic situation than meets the eye. In due course, this will become clear,” Hasan said in his statement.

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He added that Zameer’s family is pleased with his release.

“They welcome him home. I know it comes amidst a tragedy for Officer Northrup’s family and again express my condolences.”

mmandel@postmedia.com

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