Trial of Nathalie Normandeau: the defense wants to force the shutdown procedures
Archival Photo DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 18:52
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 18:55
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The defence lawyers, the trial of Nathalie Normandeau, and the company, blame the Crown for the cancellation of their preliminary investigation and invoke a blur in the application of the judgment in Jordan in Quebec for the abortion procedures.
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The accused, who were arrested by UPAC in march 2016, pretend that the ceiling of 18 months between indictment and the conclusion of the trial – should apply in order to conclude that a delay is “unreasonable” for them and pronounce a stay of proceedings.
Remember that the trial for fraud, breach of trust and corruption has been fixed on 9 April, nearly 24 months after the filing of the charges. In the other camp, the Crown argued that it should rather take into account a ceiling of 30 months, expected in the superior Court.
Since 2016, the case has wandered between the Court of Québec and the superior Court before returning to the Court of Québec, which gives rise to two interpretations are very different from the scope of the judgment Jordan of the supreme Court.
To Me, Olivier Desjardins, who represents Marc-Yvan Côté, insisted on a footnote in its judgment in Jordan about a distinction between the Court of Québec and the other provincial courts in the country.
“Let’s be honest, this is not clear (…) there is only one thing that determines the ceiling : this is the preliminary inquiry. It seems to me perfectly logical that the supreme Court will say that the more procedures, the higher the ceiling is long”, he pleaded. By depriving the accused of a preliminary inquiry, the Crown itself is doomed, according to him, having to comply with the ceiling for 18 months, what it has not done so.
The judge André Perreault has not seemed convinced at the time. “I don’t think we can say that the supreme Court has not understood the reality of Quebec when she visited Jordan.”
Eight grants referred to
The defence has also criticised the Crown for the slow pace of the disclosure of the evidence. After “two years of correspondence, the defense just has to get the confirmation that only eight projects associated with grants under the reign of Nathalie Normandeau, will be referred to by the Crown. “If the prosecution had known from the beginning what we accused, the case would not be complex and would not justify a passing of time.” The Crown will present its case Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the defense filed a motion to attempt to identify the period of the “too broad” covered by some counts of the indictment, that of conspiracy, which runs from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2012. The judge will make a decision about Friday.
Nathalie Normandeau, Marc-Yvan Côté, France Michaud and Bruno Lortie were absent during the second day of the hearing of the preliminary motions on Tuesday. Only François Roussy and Mario Martel to show up in the court room.