The lawyers of Nathalie Normandeau stated that it has “absolutely nothing to hide” for the delays in the court procedures and find that the public ministry is responsible for delays “unreasonable” to 57 months.
During the first day of the hearing of a new query in judgment of the procedures of type Jordan, Me Maxime Roy and Me Ariane Gagnon-Rocque set the tone by dropping a table detailing the periods that must be imputed, according to them, the State (1687 days, or approximately 57 months) or six co-accused (49 days) in this case.
Recall that the judgment in Jordan the supreme Court has established a ceiling of 18 months for a trial before a provincial court as the Court of Quebec. This period has been far exceeded since the early termination of the oral arguments of a trial would be, at best, in December 2020.
To Me Roy has pointed out that the case of Ms. Normandeau – facing heads of abuse of trust, fraud against the government and corruption in municipal affairs – must be treated “individually,” as it is “discussed as a devil in holy water” to speed up procedures.
She had especially asked to have a separate trial and was resigned to dropping the interrogation of the journalist Marie-Maude Denis – that his co-defendants absolutely had to hear in relation to another request in proceedings to be stayed on leaks to media, but it has always “struck a refusal” of the public ministry.
The DPCP has not been concerned with” delays
“An accused may be driven in a mode of trial that he did not wish. It is the effect of an indictment joint. When the prosecution accuses co-accused, it must be even more vigilant for the possible” expressed to Me Roy. The Crown, he insisted, did not “care about deadlines”.
In march 2018, when the judge André Perreault had rejected the first request of Jordan, even if the maximum of 18 months had already passed, he had stressed the complexity of the case. However, according to Me Roy, “the case is not complex” since the abandonment of 5 of the 8 charges against the former liberal minister.
The investigation Oath far from over
Interviewed as part of this hearing, the investigator Michel Doyon of the Office of independent investigations (EIB) has also admitted that the work of the investigators assigned to the Project Oath, on the leaking media to the UPAC, could still last a year or two, maybe even more.
The findings of the investigation Oath are crucial for the defense, which tries to prove that high-ranking officers of UPAC are involved in the leaks that have affected their customers (Nathalie Normandeau, Marc-Yvan Côté, Bruno Lortie, France Michaud, François Roussy and Mario Martel).
As long as the survey will not be completed, the parallel query in arrest procedures, driven by the lawyer of Marc-Yvan Côté, will not be heard, and the trial, in theory, should not begin, and this may add several months to the accumulated current of 57 months.
The port of the mask to the palace of justice
Five of the six defendants were physically present in the palace of justice of Quebec on Tuesday. Only France Michaud has chosen to follow the proceedings remotely on the web. The port of the mask is now mandatory within public places closed, and the palace of justice is no exception to the rule. All prosecutors and defendants arrived hidden on Tuesday morning.
However, inside the largest room of the palais de justice in Québec city, the approximately forty people who were there (prosecutors, court staff, investigators, defendants, journalists and members of the public) have been allowed to remove their mask by respecting the rule of a distance of two metres, once seated.
The hearing of this second query Jordan, which is intended to abort the trial will continue Wednesday and Thursday. A fourth day may be needed Friday if the discussions are not completed. The press has been excluded several times from the courtroom on Tuesday, for closed sessions in connection with the ongoing investigation of the EIB.
RETRIEVED FROM THE QUERY JORDAN
- “The applicant (Nathalie Normandeau) has done everything in his power to hasten the time of the trial, that she always called for.”
- “The public ministry cannot boast to have been as proactive. The State must now assume the consequences of those choices. The claim that the public prosecutor has reasonably complied with the state of the law is untenable.”
- “The time outstanding on march 26, 2018 are not a result of the complexity of the case. Instead, what are the actions of illegitimate UPAC and the casualness initial public department in this regard.”
- “Even if the case could be qualified as complex in march 2018, its complexity does not justify the overruns invoked.”
- “The theory of the prosecution is streamlined; a fraudulent scheme, a complex and organized, it only remains of campaign contributions illegal granted in order to support the achievement of the eight contracts in the public sector between the years 2005 and 2010.”