Nathalie Normandeau is done with justice. It is officially free as the air since the DPCP will not challenge, on appeal, the stay of proceedings pronounced a month ago.
The Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) has thus confirmed that the former Liberal deputy prime minister will never be tried for the crimes with which she has been accused.
UPAC suspected her of participating in a covert funding scheme in exchange for public contracts.
In a short statement sent to the media on Monday, Nathalie Normandeau said she was happy to finally “turn the page” on this legal saga.
“Given the strength of the Perreault judgment, this was the decision to make. The opposite would have been abusive, “she said, saying that she was” still considering “a possible claim for damages against the state.
On September 25, Judge André Perreault of the Court of Quebec freed Nathalie Normandeau and her five co-defendants (Marc-Yvan Côté, Bruno Lortie, France Michaud, Mario W. Martel, François Roussy) of all the charges which weighed against them because of the “unreasonable” delays, relying on the Jordan decision of the Supreme Court.
- Listen to the director of the Bureau of Investigation, Jean-Louis Fortin, summarize the case with Geneviève Pettersen:
Stopped in March 2016
No trial date has yet been set, more than four years after his indictment.
The preliminary motions were dragging on due to media leaks and the Office of Independent Investigations’ Oath investigation, still ongoing and aimed at establishing the identity of the perpetrators of the leaks.
Justice Perreault held the state, at large, responsible for the 52-month deadline for the UPAC leaks, condemning “police misconduct” that led to the abortion of the trial.
After having done a “in-depth analysis” of its 81-page decision, the DPCP concluded that it would “not be in a position to have this judgment overturned” given the legal rules which frame the power of intervention of Court of Appeal.
Very discreet since the start of the proceedings, the ex-leader of the Roche firm and ex-liberal minister, Marc-Yvan Côté, also reacted to the DPCP’s decision on Monday. Like Mme Normandeau, he has always claimed his innocence.
“Although happy with this result, Mr. Côté did not give up subsequently making known his point of view on the accusations against him, accusations he considers unfounded, and has not no longer gave up trying to find the origin of the numerous leaks to which it has been the object over the past eight years, ”indicated one of its prosecutors, Mr.e Olivier Desjardins.
The saga in a few dates
- March 17, 2016: UPAC proceeds to the arrest of Nathalie Normandeau, Marc-Yvan Côté, Bruno Lortie (his former chief of staff), France Michaud and Mario Martel (ex-managers at Roche), François Roussy (ex- mayor of Gaspé) and Ernest Murray (former head of the PQ in Charlevoix).
- August 4, 2017: Ernest Murray admits to providing nominees to a Roche engineer and pleads guilty to one count.
- August 30, 2019: The DPCP drops the charges of fraud, corruption and conspiracy against Normandeau and his five co-accused.
- September 25, 2020: A stay of proceedings is ordered. The defendants are released from charges of breach of trust, fraud against the government and corruption in municipal affairs.
- October 26, 2020: The DPCP confirms that it will not appeal the decision, bringing the legal proceedings to an end.