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David Lametti ordered a new trial for Jacques Delisle in 2021, even though the report of his committee of experts did not reveal any judicial error . The DPCP is still wondering today about the reasons which motivated this decision which goes against the conclusions of this document.

The DPCP questions Lametti's explanations | The Jacques Delisle affair

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In 2021, David Lametti, then the Minister of Justice, had ordered a new trial to be held in the case of former judge Jacques Delisle. (Archive photo)

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Now that Jacques Delisle has admitted to having caused the death of his wife, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec (DPCP) has told Enquête that he expects former federal Justice Minister David Lametti to publicly justify his decision to order a new trial for the former judge in 2021.

Radio-Canada met the big boss of the DPCP, Me Patrick Michel, on Friday at his office on Boulevard Laurier, in Quebec. The day before, Jacques Delisle had pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the Quebec courthouse, ending a 15-year legal saga.

Although the legal aspect is closed, Me Michel agreed to address the incomprehension that persists surrounding David Lametti's decision to order a new trial in this case.

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Me Patrick Michel, Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions

We do not understand what could have convinced the minister to this day, let alone Me Michel, who is worried about the impacts of this decision on public confidence in the justice system.

The case Jacques Delisle

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The case Jacques Delisle

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A decision like that […] not only discredits the administration of justice, but it also discredits the process of review of unjustified convictions, he deplores.

In his April 2021 press release, David Lametti announced that he had ordered holding a new trial for Jacques Delisle, arguing that a miscarriage of justice probably occurred.

He specifies that his decision results from the discovery of new information which was not before the courts at the time of the trial.

Eight years after being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Jacques Delisle was released in 2021 while awaiting his second trial.

Me Patrick Michel considers that Minister Lametti's statement is not based on any element which supported the thesis of judicial error.

We're not far from 10 out of 10 in terms of incomprehension. When reading the report, we did not see what was not already available during the first trial to justify the minister's decision.

A quote from Me Patrick Michel, director of criminal prosecutions and criminal

Investigation asked Me Patrick Michel: If you had a question to ask David Lametti regarding this issue, what would it be?

Was there in the decision-making process […] an intervention […] which could have influenced his decision? he answers.

This may well be a decision by the minister, a discretionary decision, but this discretion cannot be exercised arbitrarily! he insists.

Me Michel mentions that the DPCP office sent two missives to the Criminal Conviction Review Group of Canada (CRCG) to try to understand what could explain the minister's decision.

The decision to order a new trial restores the presumption of&# x27;innocence. So, it restores our burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a new trial, he explains.

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Last Thursday, the ex-judge Jacques Delisle admitted his guilt to a charge of manslaughter at the Quebec courthouse.

He explains that this concretely meant re-evaluating all of the evidence before deciding whether we were going to continue or not the trial on the original charge of first degree murder.

We could have chosen to reduce the charge, we could have chosen to stay the proceedings if, for example, in light of the GRCC report, we ourselves had been convinced that an innocent person could have been convicted, specifies- he.

In one of the correspondences sent to the GRCC, the DPCP office writes: We wonder about the possibility that other elements unknown to us were submitted as part of the process to convince the minister.

We request your cooperation in order to confirm to us whether other elements […] exist and, if necessary, to inform us of the nature of these by telling us who to contact to obtain them, can -we also read in the document.

The DPCP never had answers to its questions.

Investigation called on David Lametti to give him the opportunity to explain himself, but he refused our interview request.

By email, the former minister writes that he granted an interview to columnist Yves Boisvert of La Pressewho has been interested in such issues for a long time.

He goes on to mention that this should answer your questions, but I can assure you now that the process was followed properly.

In this article published on March 16, David Lametti assures that his decision is not only based on the GRCC report.

He refers to legal opinions that he ordered from, in particular, a judge and an eminent jurist from outside Quebec.

We were unaware of the existence of these notices. It doesn't help us understand. On the contrary, it arouses even more incomprehension regarding the decision-making process of the Minister to order a new trial.

A quote from Me Patrick Michel, Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions< /blockquote>

It is inconceivable for Patrick Michel to learn, after three years of additional procedures, the existence of legal opinions.

I don't want to speculate, but we are entitled to ask ourselves: if we had had these opinions at the time we asked them, could that have influenced our decision to continue the procedures? Fair That we have to ask ourselves these questions is worrying. This is not desirable for public confidence, he claims.

It is worrying see that the verdict of a jury confirmed by the Supreme Court can be invalidated like that on the basis of opinions that only the Minister of Justice saw, he laments.

Furthermore, Patrick Michel admits today that he even considered having it reviewed by a judicial review before the Federal Court.

After analysis, the idea was abandoned. Because of the delays it would have caused. […] Things would not have ended in the first instance, he advises.

He pleads for more justification from the minister in such a situation. We would be entitled to expect explanations, a form of accountability, of accountability. What form it should take? I don't know, he admits.

To the question: Think about you that Jacques Delisle may have had preferential treatment?, Patrick Michel responds straight away: In any case, if he had preferential treatment, it is not DPCP.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116