By The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry has heard its fair share of explosive allegations. The…
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry has heard its fair share of explosive allegations. The latest one is about an actual explosion.
A witness Thursday described the frightening methods used to keep an asphalt cartel in place, including the one time his car was blown up when he ran afoul of his fellow schemers.
Gilles Theberge was a director at Sintra, a construction company that was one of four partners in a cartel that controlled the supply of asphalt around Montreal.
He said they conspired to jack up the price 30 per cent higher than what would have been charged under a free-market system.
He said he quit his company after some dramatic events on June 15, 2000.
By Sidhartha Banerjee and Fannie Olivier, The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM - 0 Comments
The fallout from Quebec’s corruption scandals has reached the epicentre of Canada’s Parliament, with…
The fallout from Quebec’s corruption scandals has reached the epicentre of Canada’s Parliament, with the federal Opposition leader revealing Thursday he once spoke to police about someone trying to pass him a suspicious-looking envelope.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said he spoke to investigators two years ago about a 1994 meeting with the then-mayor of Laval, Que., who has since resigned in scandal and been slapped with criminal charges.
A newspaper report Thursday said Mulcair was offered — and refused — an envelope he believed to have contained cash.
There have been several reports over the years about Laval’s ex-mayor Gilles Vaillancourt offering provincial politicians such envelopes — and he now faces gangsterism charges for directing a criminal organization.
By Martin Patriquin - Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM - 0 Comments
The Government House Leader’s statement on bribery allegations in La Presse
Here’s a statement from Government House Leader Peter Van Loan regarding La Presse’s revelation that former Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt allegedly attempted to bribe NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair when the latter was a provincial MNA.
According to Radio-Canada [ed's note: it was actually La Presse's exclusive] Thomas Mulcair has known about corruption in Quebec politics since 1994, when the Mayor of Laval allegedly offered him “help” in the typical Liberal style: an envelope. Thomas Mulcair appears to have kept this sordid affair to himself for seventeen years. In 2010, he even denied having ever been offered a bribe. Yet after seventeen years of silence, Mulcair finally spoke up after investigations were already underway in 2011. As a result, Thomas Mulcair could be called before the Charbonneau Commission to explain his (in)action.
Mulcair kept his firsthand knowledge of corruption from the public for two more years, before choosing to dump it today, when he felt the media would be distracted by other stories.
This presents some difficult questions for Mr. Mulcair:
Why did he protect Gilles Vaillancourt and cover up this alleged criminal activity for 17 years?
Why did it take a public inquiry into the biggest corruption scandal in Canadian history for Thomas Mulcair to finally come clean with Canadians?
Why did Thomas Mulcair lie and say he was never offered any money by Gilles Vaillancourt?
Will he agree to appear if called to testify under oath before the Charbonneau Commission?
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry is being delayed today because of questions about the…
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry is being delayed today because of questions about the credibility of a witness slated to testify.
The inquiry was expected to begin focusing on the scandal-plagued municipality of Laval this morning.
But inquiry counsel Sonia LeBel emerged after an hour-long delay this morning to announce that there were serious concerns about Gaetan Turbide, a former Laval city manager currently under suspension.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – A witness who has delivered bombshell testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry is…
MONTREAL – A witness who has delivered bombshell testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry is admitting he told a lie on the stand.
Gilles Cloutier returned to Quebec’s corruption inquiry this morning with a message: that although he had testified that he was the owner of a home in Quebec’s Charlevoix region he was, in fact, renting it.
The former political organizer admitted that he lied about owning a house used to entertain clients for Roche, an engineering firm.
He chalked it up to a misplaced sense of pride.
By Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press - Friday, May 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – The day after a once-mighty mayor was arrested in his own city…
MONTREAL – The day after a once-mighty mayor was arrested in his own city and accused of being a gangster, aggressive questioning shifted toward local police.
The longtime police chief of Laval, the third-largest city in Quebec, found himself on the defensive Friday over why he never smelled anything fishy about his old boss, Gilles Vaillancourt.
The former mayor, whose 23-year reign in the city earned him the moniker the “Monarch of Laval,” was smacked with a dozen charges, two of which are gangsterism-related.
One of those charges carries, in theory, a possible life sentence and is the most severe of the dozen charges against him.
By Martin Patriquin - Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM - 0 Comments
Martin Patriquin on the unprecedented allegations against Laval’s former mayor
It’s worth just taking in the story as a headline: “Former Mayor of Quebec’s Third-Largest City Charged With Gangsterism.” Then you flick on the telly and see that, yup, there he is, Gilles Vaillancourt, the mayor of Laval for nearly a quarter-century, in the back of a police car, wearing a gray suit and a faint smile as he stares straight ahead. Vaillancourt was one of 37 people charged today in a massive sweep by UPAC, the province’s anti-corruption squad.
The charges are harsh and, as far as I know, unprecedented for a Quebec politician. Until now, the charge of gangsterism has been reserved for the likes of bikers and the mafia—organizations that exist solely to enrich themselves through crime. In charging him with gangsterism, the police are effectively alleging Vaillancourt is in league with the likes of the Hells Angels and Montreal’s Rizzuto clan.
Speaking of the arrests, Robert Lafrenière of the anti-corruption police task force UPAC said, “The structure observed and which seemed to have been put in place by the accused corresponds to the criteria contained in articles 467-12 and 467-13 of the criminal code.” It’s a telling statement: these articles of law specifically refer to “criminal organizations,” suggesting police believe Vaillancourt was part of a group that was knowingly enriching itself through criminal actions. The penalties are stiff: up to life imprisonment in the case of 467-13.
To understand what police believe constitutes this criminal organization, take a look at the list of people arrested alongside Vaillancourt. The vast majority of the arrestees are from the construction and engineering domains. (Laval is booming, by the way; its population has grown by nearly 9 per cent between 2006 and 2011.) Construction magnate Tony Accurso, also hauled in by police this morning, did a huge amount of business in Laval, nabbing 25 per cent of the city’s construction contracts between 2001 and 2008, according to La Presse. “It is widely known that Mr. Accurso has direct access to the offices of Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt,” wrote La Presse’s Bruno Bisson and André Noel in 2009.
Also arrested: Rosaire Sauriol of Dessau, the engineering consulting firm. Sauriol, a Dessau executive, testified earlier this spring at the so-called
Charbonneau commission investigating corruption in the province’s construction industry that his firm had forged invoices to the tune of $2 million in order to fund municipal and provincial political parties. Headquartered in Laval, Dessau was also a prolific mainstay on Laval’s many construction sites. Interestingly, Claude DeGuise, a former Dessau executive who became the head of Laval’s engineering division, was also arrested. So was Vaillancourt’s brother Guy.
Here’s the other interesting thing about Gilles Vaillancourt: he knows everyone. He is (or was) close to the Liberal Party of Quebec. Former Liberal cabinet minister Michelle Courchesne, also from Laval, was often in the company of the mayor; a 2008 Le Devoir article quotes a former NMA as saying the two are “very close.” Strangely, the record of the press conferences the two held together appear to have been scrubbed.
By Emily Senger - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM - 0 Comments
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal wants a mayor who will represent the…
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal wants a mayor who will represent the business community well, and it has posted an ad on the job-search website Workopolis to find the right candidate.
That last guy, he didn’t work out so well. Former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay stepped down in November amid allegations of corruption coming out of the province’s Charbonneau Commission. He has since testified at the commission, saying that his party didn’t take the kickbacks that were routinely required to win construction contracts from the city.
Yes, the mayor’s base salary is $156,128, but whoever the new mayor is, he or she will have to work hard to earn that money. The job posting reads: ”The position carries with it a particularly demanding context of recovery.” Continue…
By Sidhartha Banerjee and Martin Ouellet, The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM - 0 Comments
The Parti Quebecois government has fired off a warning for the province’s ongoing corruption…
The Parti Quebecois government has fired off a warning for the province’s ongoing corruption inquiry to be careful, as its testimony spirals off onto a damning and unpredictable path.
Both Premier Pauline Marois and her deputy premier issued similar messages while leaving a caucus meeting Thursday: Marois said the judicial inquiry should show some “prudence,” and her deputy premier Francois Gendron urged it to “be more careful.”
That message was delivered after sensational testimony this week veered off into unexpected areas, and it wasn’t just tarnishing the old Charest Liberals.
This week’s testimony damaged a number of reputations — including that of a Parti Quebecois stalwart and, now, a sitting judge.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – The fast-growing list of people tarred by testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry…
MONTREAL – The fast-growing list of people tarred by testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry has now expanded to include a sitting judge.
A major witness is continuing with testimony after having implicated politicians of all stripes, at various levels, and explained how he used celebrities like hockey stars to corrupt officials.
Now he says Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Deziel once helped orchestrate an illegal political financing scheme at the municipal level.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 8:36 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Under the scorching glare of Quebec’s corruption inquiry, not even national heroes…
MONTREAL – Under the scorching glare of Quebec’s corruption inquiry, not even national heroes are safe from unwanted attention.
Just ask Jean Beliveau.
The Montreal Canadiens great was surprised to hear his name come up Wednesday during the testimony of a crooked political organizer who shmoozed celebrities.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Beliveau told The Canadian Press. “Politics, construction, that’s not something I participated in.
“I got offers in politics, but I always said no.”
By Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:12 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – The landmark Quebec election-financing law that inspired similar reforms across Canada has…
MONTREAL – The landmark Quebec election-financing law that inspired similar reforms across Canada has been systematically flouted since its inception, a witness at a provincial corruption inquiry recalled Tuesday.
The elderly political organizer said that, within three years of the Rene Levesque-initiated political reform of 1977, unscrupulous fundraisers were already circumventing them.
The law was introduced by Levesque’s Parti Quebecois in the wake of scandals tied to the previous Bourassa Liberals; it banned corporate donations and limited personal contributions in Quebec.
It has since been emulated in numerous jurisdictions including the federal level, where donations can no longer come from companies and must be less than $1,000 per person.
By Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Quebec’s landmark election-financing law that inspired similar rules elsewhere in Canada has…
MONTREAL – Quebec’s landmark election-financing law that inspired similar rules elsewhere in Canada has been systematically flouted almost from the very start, a witness at the provincial corruption inquiry recalled Tuesday.
The elderly political veteran said that, about three years after Rene Levesque’s Parti Quebecois introduced political reforms in the late 1970s, they were being circumvented by unscrupulous fundraisers.
The law was introduced in 1977 in the wake of scandals tied to the Bourassa Liberals and it banned corporate donations and limited personal contributions in Quebec.
It has since been emulated in numerous jurisdictions including the federal level, where donations can no longer come from companies and must be less than $1,000 per person.
But the latest witness at the Charbonneau commission said the effects of the 1977 law were short-lived in Quebec and, he said, the majority of donations collected by political parties are illegal.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay has begun his testimony at Quebec’s corruption…
MONTREAL – Former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay has begun his testimony at Quebec’s corruption inquiry with a denial that his political party was financed through an organized kickbacks system.
Tremblay stepped down as mayor last November under a cloud of scandal brought on in part by inquiry testimony that he was aware of alleged illegal financing and did nothing.
As his testimony was barely getting underway Thursday, Tremblay said he wanted to raise a point he was eager to make: that his Union Montreal party had never taken a three per cent cut on construction contracts awarded by the city.
“It’s impossible,” Tremblay said, in a reference to the huge sums allegedly involved in the scam described in previous testimony.
“What would we have done with that money?”
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay gets his long-awaited chance today to appear…
MONTREAL – Former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay gets his long-awaited chance today to appear at Quebec’s corruption inquiry.
When he resigned last November, Tremblay said he had hoped to testify at the Charbonneau Commission while still in office so he could defend himself.
Inquiry officials were not prepared to have him take the stand at the time.
Tremblay stepped down as mayor under a cloud of scandal brought on in part by inquiry testimony that he was aware of alleged illegal financing and did nothing. Continue…
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry is hearing from a former Montreal executive committee chairman….
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry is hearing from a former Montreal executive committee chairman.
Frank Zampino was the city’s No. 2 for several years before leaving the post and the Union Montreal party in 2008.
Zampino has frequently been mentioned at the inquiry as being close to various players involved in corruption.
One witness, Rosaire Sauriol of the engineering firm Dessau, described Zampino as ”the most powerful man in Montreal.”
Witnesses at the inquiry have described how companies inflated the cost of public projects and divided up the extra cash among the Mafia, corrupt bureaucrats and Union Montreal, Zampino’s old party.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – As Quebec’s corruption inquiry awaits the highest-ranking elected official to testify so…
MONTREAL – As Quebec’s corruption inquiry awaits the highest-ranking elected official to testify so far, a longtime friend sought to minimize his role amid allegations of corruption and bid-rigging involving city contracts.
Frank Zampino, the No. 2 man in Montreal politics for several years, is due before the inquiry as soon as former fundraiser Bernard Trepanier finishes his testimony.
Trepanier, who has been nicknamed ”Mr. Three Per Cent” amid reports he took kickbacks, defended Zampino on Tuesday, saying the onetime right-hand man to former mayor Gerald Tremblay was never involved in the awarding of contracts.
Both Trepanier and Zampino are facing fraud charges in connection with a land deal in Montreal.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – A former Montreal municipal fundraiser nicknamed ”Mr. Three Per Cent” denied Monday…
MONTREAL – A former Montreal municipal fundraiser nicknamed ”Mr. Three Per Cent” denied Monday pocketing any kickback money from contractors and engineering firms.
Bernard Trepanier told the inquiry into Quebec’s construction industry he’s the victim of a conspiracy designed to blame him for collusion.
Several engineering firm bosses have testified they had to contribute to the coffers of the municipal party in power — Union Montreal — several years ago in exchange for public works contracts.
Asked by inquiry co-chair Renaud Lachance whether it was possible he kept some of that money for himself, Trepanier replied: ”Never. Look at my income. What’s mine is mine.”
By The Canadian Press - Monday, April 15, 2013 at 5:26 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry resumes today with more testimony expected from the man…
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry resumes today with more testimony expected from the man dubbed “Mr. Three Per Cent.”
Bernard Trepanier, a former political fundraiser, has been accused of collecting a cut on contracts destined for a Montreal municipal party.
Trepanier denied those allegations when he testified before the Charbonneau Commission in March.
He earned the unflattering nickname “Mr. Three Per Cent” from Quebec media after other witnesses cast him as a central player in a collusion scheme.
Witnesses have described how companies inflated the cost of public projects and divided up the extra cash between the Mafia, corrupt bureaucrats and Trepanier’s once-mighty Union Montreal party.
The inquiry broke off for two weeks at the end of March.
By Sue Allan - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 1:31 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – The man dubbed “Mr. Three Per Cent” is telling Quebec’s corruption inquiry…
MONTREAL – The man dubbed “Mr. Three Per Cent” is telling Quebec’s corruption inquiry he never took money from construction companies in exchange for access to lucrative city contracts.
Bernard Trepanier has been identified by witnesses as having collected a cut in cash from construction contracts on behalf of a Montreal municipal party.
But the former Union Montreal fundraiser told the Charbonneau Commission today today that simply isn’t true.
He says he just sold tickets for fundraising events and that he didn’t get cash from engineering executives.
Trepanier says he was close to many of the biggest construction bosses in Quebec and also had contacts at just about every major engineering firm.
By Martin Patriquin - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 6:46 PM - 0 Comments
Martin Patriquin on today’s testimony at the inquiry looking into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry
Long before he became known as “Mr. Three Per Cent” for his ability to extract this amount from those companies wishing to do business with his de facto boss, former Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay, Bernard Trépanier was known for his winning election campaigns. Both duties required his deft touch, ample Rolodex and penchant to bend rules.
Trépanier began his testimony today at the so-called Charbonneau commission looking into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry. The rusty-throated septuagenarian—now retired to Florida, where he enjoys polishing cars—was a longtime fundraiser and political aide to Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative Party. Yet it was his electoral work in and around Montreal that most interested the commission—if only because Trépanier admittedly broke Quebec electoral law to help elect his friends and clients to municipal office.
Trépanier calls them “turnkey elections.” The workings were simple: he’d offer a candidate his services, including campaign logistics and advertising, polling, and the recruitment of volunteers and staff. In return, the candidate would direct business to whatever firm paid for his or her winning campaign. (Few who went with Trépanier ever lost.) “There were fights between engineering and law firms and the cities over contracts,” Trépanier said.
“So it’s safe to say that the electoral laws set by René Lévesque in the ’70s were never respected?” asked inquiry lawyer Denis Gallant.
“I don’t think so,” Trépanier responded.
It’s quite an admission. In 1977, Lévesque’s PQ government enacted what were arguably the toughest electoral laws in North America, capping individual contributions and notably barring corporate donations. The scheme Trépanier used—he says he wasn’t the first—circumvented this law.
Trépanier’s turnkey elections won a raft of elections in the suburbs of Montreal. In 1990, he helped elect Frank Zampino to the office of mayor in the Montreal suburb of St Leonard. He became very close with the man who would become Montreal’s executive committee president, and who is currently awaiting trial on numerous fraud charges. “I never asked him for payment for my services,” he told Gallant. “A friend is a friend.”
Trépanier stuck close as Zampino’s star rose. In 2001, a youngish former provincial cabinet minister named Gérald Tremblay recruited Zampino to his team; coincidentally or not, Tremblay and his backers were reportedly impressed with Zambino’s fundraising chops. The pair, dubbed “L’Équipe Tremblay-Zambino” at Tremblay’s insistence, won the election. Trépanier soon started to work for the new government. His conditions: “I don’t deposit cash, I don’t sign cheques, and I don’t sit on any executive committee.”
He also started a consulting company. Founded in 2002, BerMax— “Bernard is my first name, and it’s Bernard to the max,” Trépanier explained— took on such clients as engineering firms Tecsult and Dessau. Between 2002 and 2011, the latter paid him $100,000 a year, apparently for liaising with a former Transport Canada employee who was helping the firm secure contracts with the city’s airport authority.
Of course, Trépanier’s real legacy was to come. His alleged ability to collect funds for Union Montreal, former mayor Tremblay’s party, was legion—and, in exchanging contracts for these donations, utterly illegal. Tomorrow, and the days after that, should be interesting.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – A powerful political organizer accused of being a key figure in Montreal…
MONTREAL – A powerful political organizer accused of being a key figure in Montreal corruption schemes is explaining how he got his start in politics — at the federal level, with the old Conservative party.
Bernard Trepanier, who has since become known in Quebec media reports as “Mr. Three Per Cent,” is taking the stand at the province’s corruption inquiry.
He says he first got involved in politics while working as a volunteer with the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1983 in LaSalle, Que.
After the Tories’ 1984 election win, he went to Ottawa to work as an aide to several ministers — starting with Benoit Bouchard, then the minister of transport.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 11:14 AM - 0 Comments
QUEBEC – The mandate of the commission looking into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry…
QUEBEC – The mandate of the commission looking into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry is being extended by 18 months.
The deadline for the final report will be April 2015, Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud told a news conference in Quebec City.
Originally, the deadline for commission president France Charbonneau to table the report was October 2013. Continue…
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 6:35 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry has requested a lengthy extension of its deadline, which…
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry has requested a lengthy extension of its deadline, which could make it a potent force in the province’s politics for up to two more years.
The inquiry head, Justice France Charbonneau, has asked Premier Pauline Marois to push the deadline back another 18 months.
Charbonneau says the additional time is needed for the probe to finish its work and make recommendations in a final report.
She indicated the commission’s final report would be available in about two years, no later than April 19, 2015.
The government said in a statement that the request has been sent to cabinet for study and no decision has been made. However, Premier Pauline Marois has already offered a strong hint that she would be inclined to accept an extension request.
The commission was ordered in 2011 by then-premier Jean Charest after intense pressure, and was mandated to produce a report by this fall.
So far, the probe has heard incendiary testimony about rampant corruption in public procurement — with the Italian Mafia, political parties and crooked bureaucrats supposedly involved in a number of schemes.
But the inquiry has focused almost exclusively on municipal politics so far, and has barely dipped its toe beyond Montreal. It prompted the resignation last fall of the mayor of Montreal, Gerald Tremblay, following claims from a witness whose testimony is now under attack.
Observers have speculated for months that the inquiry appeared to be running out of time and would inevitably need to request a deadline extension
A change in the schedule could hold a number of political implications.
The Parti Quebecois has a minority government. The schedule delay could mean that the politically explosive probe is still ticking in the province’s political arena while the government approaches the fourth year of its mandate.
It could extend the life of corruption issues as a defining force in Quebec politics.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, March 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM - 0 Comments
Charbonneau commission accused of ruining the reputation of former municipal fundraiser
MONTREAL – Quebec’s corruption inquiry is being accused of ruining the reputation of a former municipal party fundraiser and his chances of finding an impartial jury.
The lawyer for a man famously dubbed “Mr. Three Per Cent” at Quebec’s corruption inquiry says the commission is playing fast-and-loose with his client’s reputation.
Daniel Rock, the lawyer for Union Montreal fundraiser Bernard Trepanier, says his client will have trouble finding an impartial jury to hear his criminal case.
Trepanier is facing charges of fraud, corruption, breach of trust and conspiracy stemming from a land deal in east-end Montreal.
He has also been a central figure in recent testimony before Quebec’s Charbonneau commission.
Rock says the frequent mention of his client’s name at the high-profile inquiry hasn’t helped Trepanier in his criminal case.
The lawyer made the comments outside a courtroom Monday during a hearing in the criminal proceedings. Trepanier and the other co-accused were not present.
“We have taken steps, we have written letters and asked them (the commission) to be prudent and as far as we can tell, the commission is not concerned (with) the rights of these people,” Rock said.
“They publish his name, they go arrogantly with witnesses and it looks bad for everybody and they didn’t have their trial yet.”
Inquiry spokesman Richard Bourdon said the commission had no comment on Rock’s allegations.
Rock mused that he’ll ask for the charges to be dropped if the case winds up before a jury.
The Crown wouldn’t comment on the fact many of the co-accused in the case, including Trepanier, are expected to testify before the inquiry soon.
Trepanier’s co-accused include Frank Zampino, an elected official and former head of the city’s executive committee, and construction magnate Paolo Catania.
All of their names have figured prominently during the Charbonneau Commission hearings, while details of the land deal have been discussed.
The Crown says a preferred indictment was filed in the case, which means it will go straight to trial.
Crown prosecutor Marie-Helene Giroux cautioned that a trial is still probably a year away.
“Not in 2013, in 2014 probably,” Giroux said. “It’s going to be (a trial of) several weeks.”
Trepanier is currently in Florida. The judge put the case off until March 20 and ordered the accused to be present on that date.
— With files from Pierre St-Arnaud