Crown prosecutors are concerned that investigations of corruption are the costs of dismantling and merging offices specialized in the fight against organized crime announced one month ago.
Yesterday, La Presse revealed that a half dozen investigations conducted by the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC), including at least two on party funding, sleep for months on Crown offices, waiting that charges be laid.
Some prosecutors have expressed concerns about the “re-engineering” of specialized offices of the fight against organized crime, including the disappearance of Enforcement Bureau in corruption and embezzlement (BLCM), processing of general prosecutors Crime organized and apprehended a reduction in staff.
“I fear there is less and less corruption investigations or that they find themselves at the bottom of the stack,” a prosecutor told us, under cover of anonymity.
On 23 September, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions announced the disappearance of the Enforcement Bureau Organized Crime (blaco), the Enforcement Bureau to the proceeds of crime (BLCP) and the Enforcement Bureau to corruption and embezzlement (BLCM), which will be merged into one big office “of the highly organized crime”.
Quebec and the director of DCPP, Ms. Annick Murphy, have nice pounding that this merger does not result in decreases in effective, prosecutors do not believe it. Uncertainty about the future name of their immediate manager and the nature of their mandate further fueling concerns.
It has been said that 80% of organized crime cases will be found in their regions and they wonder again how prosecutors, already stretched in these sectors, will succeed in everything.
“I have no indication that there will be a reduction in anti-corruption and I have no fear in this direction,” but qualifies the President of the Association of Crown Counsel, Mr. Jean Campeau.
“But for sure there is a concern about downsizing. We must remain vigilant to ensure that there will be no net loss of resources at the end of it. From the time when there will be a pressure on my attorneys to do the same work with the same number of prosecutors, I will react, “he promised.
Heated debates in the National Assembly
Furthermore, the new La Presse wanting a half dozen corruption investigations sleep on the offices of the DCPP did roar opposition MPs in the National Assembly yesterday.
“Why the accusations are they not registered? Is it because it is the Liberal Party? “Asked the House leader Bernard Drainville the PQ justice minister, Stéphanie Vallée.
The latter replied that the facts “alleged in La Presse deserve some concern but do not forget that the Director of Public Prosecutions was established in 2007 with the desire to avoid politicizing the charges.” She added that the members can ask any questions they wish the Commissioner of UPAC, Robert Lafrenière, who will testify before a parliamentary committee on 2 November.
Without further comment on the matter, it recalled “the importance of full cooperation between the UPAC investigators and Crown prosecutors”, in a statement released last night.
“Several investigations are ongoing and we are confident that prosecutors DCPP dedicated to our complex files will complete them, with all the independence that gives them their function,” says one.
For the member of the CAQ Simon Jolin-Barrette is Ms. Annick Murphy burrs should explain his institution in committee. “Inconsistent cuts in the fight against organized crime, and now working with UPAC crumbling, the recent balance sheet DCPP is heavy,” said the caquiste.
In a statement released yesterday, Mr. Murphy said about the news of the Press “that the DCPP has been created to enhance the guarantees of independence that are related to the public prosecution function. This function requires it to be immune from political pressure, media or police as to his prosecutorial role, and that, regardless of the file concerned. ”
– In collaboration with Louis-Samuel Perron