Radio host Andre Arthur and his branch, BLVD 102.1 (Leclerc Communication), are facing a half million dollar lawsuit for defamation, Le Soleil has learned .
The application we consulted was filed in the Superior Court on Friday by lawyers representing Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former executive of the Canadian secret services that has been recycled in the field of business protection. He is also known for the interviews he regularly offers to many media outlets.
Joint by Le Soleil , Mr. Juneau-Katsuya limited his comments. “Mr. Arthur made inappropriate remarks, “he said. “When you have the privilege of having a position on the radio, you have to be careful, you have to behave professionally, which you did not have. […] He did not take into account the responsibilities that come with his position as animator. ”
This is a comment made by Mr. Juneau-Katsuya following the January 29th attack at the Center culturel Islamique de Québec which is the prelude to this lawsuit. He had denounced the tone of certain radio broadcasters in Quebec City. He even claimed that some “have blood on their hands”.
Andre Arthur did not like it. He made it very clear to Mr. Juneau-Katsuya on air during the broadcast of former MP Nathalie Normandeau in early February. “Where do you go from here to say business like this?” He shouted at the microphone. He then criticized the fact that his target had taken his “retirement” from the relatively young intelligence services. “You were squealed out or did you win the lottery?” Michel Juneau-Katsuya replied, “You can insult me as much as you like …”
“I have nothing but a taste for doing that,” Arthur had interrupted him, adding, “I do not want to talk to this cursed fool.” Then we heard him leave the studio live. He later agreed that he had “freaked” that day. “I was out of my mind.”
Anger, however, has not subsided. And he made it known to his listeners on a few occasions, using various qualifications in the place Mr. Juneau-Katsuya: “old small beef”, “supposed national security expert”, “apostle of the Muslims” .
Andre Arthur continued his charge that Mr. Juneau-Katsuya has questionable ties to the “Middle East”, that he repeats “nonsense”, that he is not credible, that he “probably Full of hidden agendas “…
The polemic animator also invited the media to stop using the services of Michel Juneau-Katsuya. He also identified the parents of the former secret agent during his show.
All these assertions are denounced by the lawyers of the firm Jeansonne who initiated the prosecution against the animator and his radio station. They argue that “Arthur has launched a campaign against the plaintiffs [Michel Juneau-Katsuya and his company Northgate Group] to insult, humiliate and expose them to public hatred and contempt. In particular, the defendant Arthur asserted … that the plaintiffs were in the pay or under the control of Islamic terrorist groups. This is false. ”
The lawyers also criticized Leclerc Communication for giving a microphone to “a notorious defamer of defamation” and not braking him when he spoke of Mr. Juneau-Katsuya.
The facilitator remains in office
Under a $ 500,000 lawsuit, André Arthur has the support of his employer and keeps his microphone.
Contacted by Le Soleil on Monday, Jean-François Leclerc, owner of Leclerc Communication (BLVD 102,1 and WKND 91,9), had just received the complaint against the star animator. “I am aware of course. However, I can not speak more. All this was sent to our lawyers, of course. And at the request of our lawyers, we can not comment on this demand or prosecution. ”
Are you going to defend yourself? “Certainly we will defend ourselves. But unfortunately I can not tell you more at the moment. ”
In the meantime, is Mr. Arthur still on air? “Absolutely.” He still has your trust? “Absolutely.” Mr. Leclerc was less affirmative when we asked him if he saw in this lawsuit a justification to sanction his animator? “I will leave any comments on this issue for now. It’s not that I do not want to answer. It’s not that I would not like to answer. I would give you too much. ”
“On the other hand, I intend to return to you as soon as possible with a response to this formal notice and to the prosecution.”
Will he go to court to defend his moderator and the station? “It’s very early to say where all this will lead us. […] It follows its course. You know what the judicial process is. Our lawyers told us not to comment this afternoon. As soon as they determine what we can say to you within the legal limits, we can make more comments. ”
Could the dispute be settled out of court? “We never know. In a trial, no matter who is wrong, who is right, it can take all sorts of tangents. So I just can not tell you how all this will end unfortunately. ”
We could not talk to Andre Arthur. A year ago, he was fired by CHOI Radio X for controversial remarks. BLVD had drafted it a few months later.