Marc Bibeau denies being responsible for delays in Liberal financing inquiry

Marc Bibeau denies being responsible for delays in Liberal financing inquiry

Former Liberal financier Marc Bibeau argues that he is not responsible for the delays in the Mâchurer inquiry into Liberal political financing, as suggested by UPAC’s boss Robert Lafrenière.

Thursday, the latter revealed that negotiations had been taking place since 2013 to unlock a Lavallée-type application which delayed the investigation. This type of request protects the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and his client.

However, a disagreement over this request made it to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear Bibeau’s lawyers appeal in February. It took more than three years before the police officers of the UPAC had access to certain computer servers seized during the search that took place in 2013 on the Schokbéton and Beauward premises in Saint-Eustache.

In a statement, the lawyer for these companies defends himself. “To claim that Mr. Bibeau or his lawyers are responsible for the delays in the Mâchurer investigation is false,” writes lawyer Jean-Philippe Groleau.

He says that the Lavallée application was presented by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP).

Dispute over the role of UPAC

The seized computer servers had been sealed to protect solicitor-client privilege. Two of Bibeau’s employees are lawyers and notaries who benefit from this legal protection.

Mr. Groleau indicated that they have always cooperated with the DPCP by responding “diligently” to its requests.

“However, we had a disagreement with them on one point of the Lavallee protocol: should the police force that made the seizure have a role to play in protecting the privilege of a person under investigation?” asks the lawyer.

The courts ultimately did not accept the position defended by Bibeau’s lawyers.

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