Mississauga: Mayoral candidate charged in death threat investigation

Mississauga News   By Louie Rosella November 28, 2014


MISSISSAUGA — A mayoral candidate in last month’s municipal election in Mississauga has been charged with

making death threats to a Milton journalist who criticized him in a column and nearly running down a Halton Regional Police officer.

Halton Regional Police announced today that Riazuddin Choudhry, 69, whose official name is Riazuddin Ahmad Gondal, has been charged with uttering death threats and dangerous driving. Officers arrested him this morning.

Choudhry will be in court Jan. 5 to answer to allegations he threatened Mohsin Abbas, 32, editor of Diversity Reporter, a weekly newspaper distributed in Ontario and B.C.

The dangerous driving charge was laid because police allege a Halton officer tried to speak with Choudhry near his home earlier this month as part of the investigation. But Choudhry allegedly sped off, forcing the officer “to take evasive action to avoid getting hit by the car,” said Det. Sgt. Nick Milinovich.

Meanwhile, in the death threat charge, Abbas, originally from Pakistan, claims a man who identified himself as Riazuddin Choudhry called him earlier this month. The call originated from a phone number associated with the Choudhry campaign.

Abbas alleges he was told “he will hunt me down” if the article isn’t retracted. He claims the caller said “his family is capable of killing.”

Abbas said he also got a call from his family in Pakistan, claiming a man with a handgun showed up at his brother’s shop in Sialkot and allegedly said two of the brother’s children would be kidnapped if the article wasn’t retracted. He also claimed Abbas owed Choudhry $5,000.

The threats have left Abbas and his family in fear.

On Nov. 13, in an interview with The News, Choudhry denied making the call and said Abbas is “a liar” and attempting to blackmail him. He said he paid Abbas an advance of $5,000 to run his election campaign and get him several votes from Mississauga’s South Asian population. But instead, Choudhry claims, Abbas “disappeared” and started blackmailing him through the media.

“I’m an old man. I want peace. I don’t know why he’s doing this,” Choudhry said. “I’m highly respected and I’m very upset by this.”

Choudhry did not provide any proof of money paid or any business relationship.

When asked why Choudhry didn’t go to police with these allegations, he said he is old, fighting cancer, disabled and weak. He said he has undergone five bypass surgeries in recent years and wants to avoid confrontation.

Originally from Pakistan, the father of five and grandfather of six moved to Canada in 1992 and has called Mississauga home since 1994.

Abbas denied the allegations of blackmailing and said he was never paid $5,000 by Choudhry. He added he has only seen Choudhry in person twice in his life.

“Whatever he’s going to say, he is free to say it. The court is not going to believe this kind of bull____,” he said. “This is a first-world country. People will not believe rubbish like this. All his allegations are baseless.”

Abbas has a recording of a portion of the telephone conversation, in Urdu, which was independently translated by The Hamilton Spectator.

At one point, the man says his family in Pakistan are “killers” and often force people to vote for their politicians.

Abbas’ opinion piece was called “How Pakistani candidates embarrass us in Canadian polls” and was published Nov. 5 by Dawn, a Pakistani news organization.

-with files from Torstar


Follow Louie Rosella on Twitter @LouieMissiNews



(1) Comments

By Susan | NOVEMBER 28, 2014 03:13 PM
this guy cracks me up – mayoral candidate but is so sick with cancer he wants you to feel sorry for him. what a crock!
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