Charges dropped against Nathalie Normandeau
The DPCP will not present any evidence against Nathalie Normandeau, Marc-Yvan Côté and their co-accused for the charges of fraud, corruption and conspiracy. A criminal trial will always take place, assures the prosecutor, for the charges of breach of trust, fraud against the government, contractors subscribing to an election fund and acts of corruption in municipal affairs.
The e Crown Prosecutor Mr. Richard Rougeau, responsible for Yoke and Ivy led by UPAC records, appeared before the Mario Tremblay judge of the Court of Quebec to announce the intention of the DCPP not provide evidence on half of the charges against the six co-defendants since 2016. In addition to Normandeau and Côté, the Crown prosecutes Mario W. Martel and France Michaud (former directors of Roche), François Roussy (former mayor of Gaspé) and Bruno Lortie (former chief of staff of Nathalie Normandeau).
The prosecutor had previously warned his fellow defense lawyers. Only Bruno Lortie was present since he represents himself alone. The case before the Court of Quebec is currently immobilized, pending a decision of the Supreme Court on journalistic sources.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nathalie Normandeau continues to face three charges, including breach of trust. Initially, the prosecution had filed eight against the former politician. Former Liberal organizer Marc-Yvan Côté will have to defend him on five charges rather than nine.
The DPCP claims to be “excessively comfortable” with the charges upheld. “These are important leaders and in our opinion very, very significant and more specifically representative of the actions that are alleged,” summarized Richard Rougeau.
In particular, the DPCP withdrew the conspiracy charges, which are very complex to prove. “It weighs heavily on the procedures, the charges of conspiracy, so we made decisions to that effect,” says Mr. Rougeau.
The DPCP ensures that it is not “concerned” with the issue of judicial timeframes for this case, which has been going on for three and a half years. “But deadlines affect us,” says the Crown Attorney.
The decision of the DPCP was made taking into account all available information and “is not the consequence of the establishment of the Oath investigation (of the Bureau of Independent Investigations) on journalistic leakage”, continues the Crown attorney.
Nathalie Normandeau’s lawyer Me Maxime Roy urges the DPCP to continue its reflection. “It’s a file that should never have had a beginning,” says Roy.
For a year now, Me Roy claims to have given the DPCP documents from government policies that demonstrate, enough eyes, that his client has nothing to reproach himself.
During a possible trial, Ms. Normandeau will have to explain why she gave a grant to a municipal entity.
The case will return to court on October 18th.
More details to come