Michel Boudreault J. explained before the Judicial Council on Monday at the Quebec City Courthouse
“I regret what happened. I did not need to ask the police officer (on the solid yellow line of the St. Paul row) because the decision (to give Yves Martin release) was not difficult to take in the circumstances. There is no connection between this event and my decision. ”
For the first time in seven months, Judge Michel Boudreault, the Court of Quebec, was able to explain the alleged drunk driver Yves Martin case.
Monday, at the Québec City Courthouse, The Daily attended the representations before the five members of the Judicial Council, who question whether the judge of the Court of Québec has committed a breach of ethics by asking the policeman Sylvain Tremblay , public Safety Saguenay, if the yellow line of the St. Paul rank was continued and over what distance.
This case follows the fatal accident of August 1, 2015, while the speeder Yves Martin had taken the life of a family of three (the lady was also pregnant) in the St. Paul row.
Yves Martin, who has two driving history while impaired, was charged with dangerous driving, criminal negligence and driving while intoxicated causing death.
Following the deposit survey (September 9 and 10), Boudreault J. announced on September 17, he refused to hand over the accused at liberty, despite the guarantees offered. A few days later, the Crown and the defense learned that the magistrate had asked for information on the yellow line outside the courtroom.
This gesture has sown doubt in the mind of the accused and his family on the judge’s impartiality. A few weeks later, they filed a complaint to the Judicial Council.
For several minutes, the magistrate told some investigation deposit details. He apologized, admitted he made a mistake and regretted his actions. But it did not change its final judgment.
“I did not need that information. I did it for conscience (without being able to really explain why). But I can not change the situation and I’m sorry. ”
“My decision could have been made at the end of the investigation deposit. If I postponed for a week, it was only because I wanted to make a written decision and remove. On September 16, I made small changes in the morning at 8:26 ET 11:45, but that was before crossing the policeman during the fire drill (around 13:30). There was nothing after that. ”
“After the year I went to my office, I asked my secretary to prepare the written decision and print. And I left the courthouse after. The next day (Thursday, September 17), I made my decision and I kept Martin imprisoned, “said the magistrate.
The judge said he had never seen the response of the police, which could influence the decision.
The meeting, described as coincidental with the Tremblay policeman has not been denied by the magistrate, but his version as to the question is very different.
The liaison officer of the Public Safety Saguenay courthouse told the judge asked him for information on configuring the St. Paul row.
“He asked me to send a patrol to see if the yellow line is continued in the St. Paul row. He has not said that it was for the record Yves Martin, but I suspected that it was for that. ”
“I called the investigator Pierre Girard. He went and left me a message saying that the line was continuous over 8.2 km. I went to deliver a note to judges office stating that it was a document for Boudreault J. “he told Sylvain Tremblay.
Judge version very different from the words of the officer.
“I told Sylvain ” So tell me, when you were a patrol, is that there was a continuous line in the St. Paul rank? ” “I asked him.
“He told me he did not know, he would look at it and he would return to me,” said the judge.
As for the fact that the note was lodged on his desk, the judge said not to have seen. He did not doubt that his secretary did so, but says he has seen nothing in the morning.
“I have not seen it so I could not see it. Especially I never thought Sylvain had to return me on it, “said the judge Boudreault.
It was not possible to know whether the magistrate could get hold of the memo later.
No reprimand, his lawyer believes
Judge Michel Boudreault erred in requesting information to a police officer, but he does not deserve a reprimand provided by the Minister of Justice.
At least that is the conclusion reached his lawyer, Louis Masson Monday at the Quebec City courthouse, before the members of the Judicial Council.
Boudreault J. appeared before this body under inquisitorial and whose final decision will set a precedent office.
“Boudreault J. admit I made a mistake. He regrets. It was not premeditated and his gesture has not played on the presumption of innocence of the accused. Boudreault J. had no malicious intent. But is that this should automatically lead to ethical misconduct? “, Asked the lawyer Louis Masson.
“The judge explained for the first time in this story and I think that should dispel any doubts that might persist in the complainants, including Ms Emily Martin and members of the committee.
“We have a judge who wanted to be conscientious, too conscientious. The judge’s conduct command no penalty, “added Mr. Masson.
Side of Me Pierre Lorrain, whose role was to assist the committee, he made no recommendations.
“I still think that the judge should have Boudreault turn on an alarm bell when the officer told him he would reconsider his application. But I do not think that this issue has had an impact on the final decision. Remains to be seen though, if there could be a breach of ethics, “said Mr. Lorrain.
The file, chaired by Claude Boulanger judge, was taken under advisement. A recommendation will be made to the Minister of Justice.
A doubt in the mind of the Martin family
Yves Martin and his sister Emilia would love to have blind trust in the justice system, but the experience of recent months still leaves a little doubt in their mind.
Emily Martin briefly recounted his feelings on Monday morning before the members of the Judicial Council.
It is she and her brother have filed a complaint against the actions of the judge Michel Boudreault, as part of the investigation into the alleged release speeder St. Paul rank in Chicoutimi.
Initially, Ms. Martin had not been summoned to testify before the committee of the judiciary.
His lawyer, Jean-Marc Fradette, had to insist that it can be heard, showing that if everyone was gathered in the courtroom, it was because she had filed a complaint.
“When we became aware that the judge had conducted what we call, a parallel investigation, doubt has settled in our mind’s impartiality and the presumption of innocence my brother. Mr. Fradette tried to reassure us that this was not the way to go. We would have liked that doubt disappears, but it was not. ”
“I do not want my brother to be labeled in court not to harm the judge Michel Boudreault,” said Ms. Martin, who was accompanied by members of his family, including his parents.
For his part, Jean-Marc Fradette was not entitled to against-examine all witnesses. Committee members have authorized it to do with Ms. Martin only.
“I would have liked to against-examine, but I learned that it was a first that a complainant is represented by counsel. a precedent has been created, “says Mr. Fradette.
“But I’m glad I could voice my client. Without it, there would have been an important white on understanding the complaint.
“It is the image of justice and confidence in the system that are involved in this matter,” he added.
If counsel Louis Masson and Pierre Lorrain do not believe that the Judicial Council is bound by the decisions of the Court of Appeal of Quebec (inappropriate behavior of the judge) and the Quebec Superior Court (Justice and appearance of justice must be present in a decision), Mr. Fradette think that should be considered.