A former municipal councilor of Terrebonne would be at the origin of a demand for payment of $ 6,000 to a contractor suspected of corruption, according to a witness at the trial of the former mayor Jean-Marc Robitaille.
The residential construction contractor, François Barnabé, gave more details on Tuesday on a sum of $ 6,000 that he would have been forced to pay without valid reason, according to him, to the contractor Normand Trudel in the late 1990s.
Barnabé was cross-examined Tuesday at the trial for corruption and breach of trust of the former mayor of Terrebonne Jean-Marc Robitaille. The ex-chief of staff of Robitaille, Daniel Bélec, the ex-director general Luc Papillon and Normand Trudel are also accused.
In general, the witness Barnabé described a climate of generalized corruption within the municipal administration of Terrebonne at the turn of the 2000s.
He notably assured that the former director of land use planning, Daniel Sauriol, was present when he was forced to entrust a Normand Trudel company with the development of a cycle path on one of his land. .
The sum of $ 6,000 in question was to be paid to Transport et Excavation Mascouche (TEM), a company of Normand Trudel, to repair work that Barnabé considered sloppy on one of his land.
The witness has already recounted being told by the former municipal councilor of Terrebonne, Michel Morin, that he absolutely had to pay this amount even if he did not agree.
Former municipal councilor in Terrebonne
“It was not Mr. Trudel, it was Mr. Morin,” said the witness on Tuesday, regarding the obligation to pay. “Mr. Trudel has many faults, but not this one,” he continued. “I don't think that with the volume of contracts he had, he would have bothered to go get that amount,” he said.
François Barnabé says he was informed later by one of his associates at the time that the request for payment did not come from Normand Trudel.
The witness said on Tuesday that he was outraged to have to pay this amount. Although he is at the heart of Barnabé's testimony, former city councilor Michel Morin is not the subject of charges in this case.
Normand Trudel's lawyer, Me Michel Massicotte, tried to identify contradictions and inconsistencies in Barnabé's testimony yesterday.
The latter was impatient on more than one occasion, believing that he had already answered questions. The trial of the defendants in Terrebonne, which began in 2019 and was interrupted by the pandemic, resumed this week for a few days.