Ghost Trial | Where is the federal?

Quebec’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Simon Jolin-Barrette, told us two things on Wednesday.

Posted at 7:00 am

One: it doesn’t directly confirm the news from my colleagues Larouche and Renaud: the “shadow trial” has to do with the RCMP investigation and federal prosecutors.

He didn’t say that. He said the case had nothing to do with Quebec’s Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions. That, by default, leads us to federal prosecutors – because this type of “serious” case doesn’t come from municipal court, we agree.


PHOTO JACQUES BOISSINOT, CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES

Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec

Two: the Minister announced the only good decision currently required: the Ministry’s lawyers will go to the Quebec Court of Appeal to remove as much as possible the secrecy surrounding this trial without a number, without the name of a judge, no date and no place.

Q&A: How is the Attorney General of Canada? Minister David Lametti must also intervene in this matter of principle urgently.

The tests are not public “for the media”. They are public to see, so that they can be judged by the public. To prove its sincerity. No publicity, no real justice.

We had to hear the Chief Justice of the Superior Court, Jacques Fournier, on Wednesday at Information at noon (Radio-Canada), “stunned” at “not yet seen”. A “black eye” for justice, he said.

The case seems to be coming from the Quebec Court, which is silent on the subject.

Having talked to sources at all levels of the judiciary, no one understands, no one understands this story.

How can a judge hold a trial so secretly, to the point that witnesses can no longer be heard directly in court?

On the one hand, it is very strange and has no known precedent.

On the other hand, it’s not weird. I mean: Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised.

In the right corner you have a police informant who has infiltrated the criminal underworld, who seems to be an organized member of the crime itself, to provide information to the police. He risked his life and he is entitled to full anonymity. In our opinion, the public trial narrating his crimes and betrayal does not suit him. The more secret it is, the better for him. His lawyer will therefore plead for total secrecy.

In the left corner, you have a federal prosecutor accusing an informant who worked for the state to fight crime. He doesn’t want to burn surveys of this indicator. He also doesn’t want to send the message to the world of criminals that you can make a “deal” with the Crown and go to the dock. Bad advertising.

Understand that in normal times, we take care of our cues; they returned their jackets for the State; we don’t want to accuse them, we want to use their information. It was therefore a relationship that turned bad, very bad between the police and the informant. The police also don’t look good at all: this individual to whom we gave money to accuse people coincidentally he himself was so bent that we accused him. This can have consequences for other cases.

For the State representative, everything should be as secret as possible. It won’t be a secret enough!

Ultimately, these two lawyers, the prosecution and the defense, have completely conflicting interests … except for one thing: it shouldn’t know.

I imagine they are making a disturbing speech for the judge, with very serious consequences that can result from the leakage of very little information.

But what could they possibly have said to this judge to make him so afraid that he would not even see the witnesses? To hide his own name?

Perhaps the closed session was justified. We do not know. But in any case, no one can justify the anonymity of the judge, lawyers and the basic details.

The Court of Appeal did say that this process was “exaggerated” and contrary to the very foundations of our system … But it did not give the anonymous judge’s justifications. I thought they were not enough.

More importantly, the Court of Appeal did not rectify the situation in the slightest.

It is therefore reasonable and necessary to send Attorney General’s attorneys to request that part of the secrecy be removed.

But what about Canada’s Attorney General, David Lametti? If the case comes from the Federal Public Prosecutions Office, he must stand up and go to court as well.

In fact, even the file did not come from federal prosecutors: it is also the responsibility of the federal government to send the message that this type of trial is intolerable in Canada.

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