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Julian Fantino facing charges over alleged ketchup-smearing incident 42 years ago

Last Updated Oct 1, 2015 at 10:47 pm EDT

Fantino arrives at his election night party. November 29, 2010. The Canadian Press/Chris Young.

Former Toronto police chief Julian Fantino is facing charges over an incident that allegedly occurred over four decades ago, the incumbent MP’s lawyer confirms.

According to a report in The Toronto Sun, Fantino is accused of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm after John Bonnici, now 62, says Fantino smeared ketchup on his buttocks during a Toronto raid in 1973.

Bonnici told the newspaper that Fantino spread the condiment on him using a police baton while he was handcuffed. Fantino was a detective at the time.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and the complaint was reportedly made in a closed-door hearing to a justice of the peace in July.

When asked about the reported charges, Fantino’s lawyer, Mark Sandler, told CityNews “I can confirm it.”

Sandler released a statement, insinuated that something fishy was up with the timing of the allegations.

“Mr. Fantino will vigorously defend himself against what the defence can only describe as completely spurious allegations. It is our position that a private complaint 42 years after the events and during an election campaign raises obvious questions about the motivation and lack of merit of these allegations.”

Fantino, 73, is the Conservative candidate for Vaughan-Woodbridge in the upcoming federal election.

He became an MP in 2010 after winning the Vaughan by-election.