Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quebec Couple Sues Crown, RCMP and Police Over Bogus Human-Slavery Charge

From the Canadian Press:

MONTREAL, Canada- A Quebec couple who say they were humiliated and had their reputations ruined by overzealous authorities are seeking $5 million in civil damages over a bogus human-trafficking charge laid against them.

Nichan Manoukian, his wife Manoudshag Saryboyajian and their four children are suing the provincial government, the RCMP and Laval police, according to a statement of claim filed at the Montreal courthouse. The Mounties trumpeted the couple's arrest in May 2007 as a first in Canada since criminal laws on human trafficking were introduced in 2005.

The couple were accused of mistreating their live-in Ethiopian nanny, Senait Tafesse Manaye.

The Crown dropped the charges against the couple last December.Manaye began living with the family in 1997, in Lebanon, where the couple found her through an agency.

The couple have said they treated her well and returned to Canada with Manaye in 2004. Police removed her from the home in January 2006.

Neither the plaintiffs nor the defendants commented Tuesday because the matter is before the courts and will be presented in front of a judge next month.

The statement of claim contains allegations that have still to be proven in court.

It alleges the family endured several embarrassing moments and have lost all credibility within their community since police began acting on a tip a woman was being treated like a slave.

Since police intervened, Manoukian, an interior decorator, has "fought tooth and nail to save, defend and re-establish his reputation and his wife," the statement reads.

Read the full article

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