An ex-political attaché of Marois pleads guilty

News 5 August, 2017
  • File Photo, Simon Clark
    Ernest Murray

    Nicolas Saillant

    Friday, August 4, 2017 11:04

    Friday, August 4, 2017 20:42

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    A former political attaché of Pauline Marois, stopped at the same time as Nathalie Normandeau, and Marc-Yvan Côté in march 2016, pleaded guilty Friday morning to a charge of having advised to ask a criminal act, which has not been finally committed.

    Ernest Murray, who was the director of the county office of the Parti québécois in the Charlevoix region, is the first of the seven co-accused to admit guilt. In the framework of the election of December 2008, the Parti québécois was struggling to achieve its financial targets and Mr. Murray had then approached Martin Lapointe, an engineer at the firm Rock, in order to get $10,000.

    The latter, responsible for development of the firm, had asked for nominees to Mr. Murray. The accused had provided three. “It stopped there, it has never been used, but the names have been provided,” explained the lawyer of Mr. Murray, Mathieu Camirand.

    An accused relaxed

    Once Ernest Murray found guilty on this count, the Director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) has asked for a judgment conditional procedures on other charges more serious conspiracy, fraud and breach of trust.

    The accused appeared relaxed during the procedure and was smiling profusely. “You need to understand that it’s been a year that it is claimed that Mr Murray has made a conspiracy, and fraud that are important, and today we refocus the debate on what he has really done “, has explained to Me Camirand.

    The lawyer recalled that his client has admitted to at the first opportunity his crime, to be provided by nominees, and he also has told the Charbonneau Commission. “It is sure that Mr. Murray is very happy at this level,” said his lawyer.

    Debate on the award

    The lawyers, however, were not agreed on a sentence common, so much so that a debate on this will take place at the end of the month. The Crown asks for a sentence to be suspended with a probation of one year, whereas the prosecutor, Mr. Murray wants a conditional discharge.

    In the case of a sentence suspended, Ernest Murray would have a criminal record, which is not the case if the judge decides for a conditional discharge. This decision has no impact on the continuation of the proceedings for the other accused.