Crown drops domestic assault charges against Calgary real estate mogul Riaz Mamdani
Strategic Group CEO says he feels 'vindicated'
Prosecutors have dropped domestic assault charges against well-known Calgary real estate mogul Riaz Mamdani, who was once the victim of a near fatal shooting.
Mamdani, 54, was charged on Nov. 28 following an argument with his girlfriend, Kate Abbott, at his Mount Royal home.
Although CBC News did not previously identify Abbott, she has since sent several statements, court documents from her family court case and has taken out an Instagram ad in which she discussed the incident.
Allegations had 'devastating' effect
Mamdani said he feels "vindicated" by the withdrawal of the charges but would have liked to have seen the Crown review the case earlier.
"Consequences of even a meritless allegation can be as damaging as a conviction," he wrote. "In some ways, the accusation is the sentence; the stigma attached to these lies has been devastating to me."
On Friday, defence lawyer Cory Wilson appeared in court on Mamdani's behalf as prosecutors withdrew the charges. Mamdani maintains the motive for the allegations was "greed."
"These allegations were made alongside absurd claims for more than a million dollars a year in spousal support by a woman I did not live with and a six-figure demand for child-support for her child of a previous relationship."
"During this time, I have followed my legal counsel's advice to remain silent while the complainant actively sought out media and purchased social media advertising to falsely portray herself as a victim."
Mamdani says he has filed a fraud claim against Abbott and plans to pursue defamation action.
Abbott 'shocked and devastated'
In a written statement to CBC News, Abbott said she was "shocked and devastated."
"On behalf of my family, friends and all those that have supported me, I wish to convey our shock and bewilderment over the decision made today by the Crown prosecutor's office," wrote Abbott.
"I have no details as to why the Crown prosecutor's office made the decision that they did, and I had no input into the decision leading to today's announcement."
Although the Crown's office declined to explain why the charges were dropped, prosecutors only drop charges when there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction or if it is not in the public interest to proceed.
"The Calgary prosecutions office has treated the file as we would treat any intimate partner violence file," said chief Crown prosecutor Peter Mackenzie.
"Notice of this decision was given to the complainant by way of letter yesterday afternoon. The complainant has been invited to get in contact with me if there are questions about the decision.
Abbott in PTSD program
On May 22, Abbott took out an ad on Instagram informing the public that she was taking a month to participate in a program for those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
She said in her written statement that her story is "far from over."
"While I continue to work hard to recover and rebuild my life, my goal will remain to advocate for social change and legal reform, so that one day, in these instances, true justice will be served," said Abbott.
Mamdani, the CEO of Strategic Group, is a local businessman and philanthropist.
In December 2016, Mamdani was shot six times through the window of his Rolls Royce Phantom while pulling out of the driveway of his Mount Royal mansion.
Police called the targeted attack an attempted murder. No arrests have ever been made in that case.