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'High-handed' Canadian judge reprimanded

March 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

TORONTO, March 20 (UPI) -- A Canadian judge has been reprimanded for abuse of authority after dismissing criminal cases because a prosecutor was late in returning to court.

A three-judge Ontario Court of Appeal ruling issued a reprimand to Judge Howard Chisvin and overturned acquittals in the 12 cases he dismissed last July, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

"The trial judge's actions were high-handed and did a real disservice to the proper administration of justice," the judges said. "It was illegal and an abuse of judicial authority."

Court records indicate Chisvin was angry with an assistant Crown prosecutor who was late in returning from a break, the Toronto Star said.

The incident happened in Newmarket, north of Toronto.

Among the cases Chisvin threw out were several people who had already pleaded guilty to various charges and were awaiting sentencing, the Star said.

The judge didn't appear before the appeal panel to defend himself, the reports said.

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