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G20 activist launches $4M lawsuit against cops

On the second anniversary of Toronto hosting the tumultuous G20 summit, a man who claims he was assaulted by police and wrongfully imprisoned launched a $4-million lawsuit Monday against the cops.

Activist Julian Ichim has filed suit against the Toronto Police Services Board, the provincial Crown and an undercover officer for alleged false imprisonment, assault and battery, misuse of public office and breaches of the Charter.

Ichim says he was the subject of a year-and-a-half-long investigation ahead of the summit on June 25-27, 2010. He was arrested over that weekend for conspiracy. He was later charged with counselling to commit indictable offences. His charges were later withdrawn.

Before his charges were dropped, Ichim says he was forced to live under bail conditions aimed at preventing him from participating in political activities. He was later charged with three counts of disobeying a court order for blogging about his G20 experience (he’s currently facing jail time on those counts). His preliminary hearing on those charges is set for Sept. 18.

“This lawsuit is not about me or the money, it’s about the fact that people in this country are criminalized and brutalized simply for their political beliefs. If they can do this to me today, they can target anyone tomorrow,” Ichim said in a statement Monday.

If he wins his suit, Ichim says he’ll donate the “majority of this money” to help others facing similar G20-related charges.

Last month, Kelly Pflug-Back of Guelph, Ont., pleaded guilty to wearing a disguise and mischief. She was accused of being a ringleader of the Black Bloc store smashings on and around Yonge Street during the G20 weekend.

A G20 review conducted for the Toronto Police Services Board has been completed and will be released on Friday.

The Independent Civilian Review into Matters Relating to the G20 Summit was launched in September 2010 to investigate police actions during the event.