01/20/2012 12:14 EST | Updated 03/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Police corruption witness pressed about plea deal

The lawyer for the former Toronto lead drug squad detective on trial for conspiracy, theft and assault dating back to the 1990s, today wrapped up his cross-examination of pot dealer Christopher Quigley with a scathing attack on Quigley’s claims of being robbed and beaten.

John Rosen, who represents former Det. John Schertzer, pointed the jury to documents and court agreements that Quigley signed and swore to back in 1998 that contradict his claims.

Rosen read aloud a letter written in 1998 by Quigley’s lawyer just weeks after police arrested him and charged him with trafficking narcotics and assaulting an officer while in custody.

“It states there was ‘$45,000 more or less’ in his mother’s bank safe deposit box, not the $54,000 you’ve since claimed was inside,” Rosen says.

Defence questions Quigley about plea deal

He then pointed jurors to a plea deal reached in June 1998 in which Quigley agreed —before a judge — that he was guilty of simple possession of marijuana. In exchange for that admission, charges against him of assaulting police and trafficking were dropped. Also, a cheque of $23,800 was returned to Quigley.

“That was for just $23,800 – not the $45,000 or $54,000 you claimed later!” Rosen charged. Quigley agreed, but insists he was instructed by two lawyers at the time to accept the deal because it was “the best I was likely to get.”

Rosen also presented a letter Quigley signed which released “the Metro Toronto Police Service and any of its officers, specifically Const. Rick Benoit and Const. Ned Maodus” from any lawsuits for any injuries suffered while in custody.

Rosen asked Quigley why he agreed to the deal, and agreed in court when the Crown read in the facts claiming Quigley became enraged in custody after officers conducted a search of his mother’s home, and was subdued after Quigley struck and injured an officer.

“It’s an absolute lie!” Quigley said in a firey response, on his third day facing grilling by Rosen.

Quigley faces several more days — if not weeks — of similar examination by the lawyers for the other accused officers involved in his arrest more than a decade ago.