Zampino alleged fraud case back in court
It was a brief hearing at the Montreal courthouse this morning for the alleged fraud and corruption linked to the controversial Faubourg Contrecoeur housing development project, with none of the accused present.
Ex-executive committee chairman Frank Zampino, former head of financing for Union Montreal Bernard Trépanier and construction boss Paolo Catania are among the eight accused who were ordered to be present at the hearing.
But defence lawyers insist a technicality over jurisdiction and scheduling meant that they didn't need to be there.
“It’s not that they didn’t want to be here this morning. It’s just that there was an imbroglio, and that’s it," Trépanier's lawyer Daniel Rock told reporters.
Rock said his client is in Florida caring for his ailing wife, not at all happy with his name being dragged through the mud before the Charbonneau Commission.
“They publish his name, they go arrogantly with witnesses and the end result is that it looks always bad for everybody and they haven't had their trial yet so they should have been more prudent," Rock said, visibly frustrated.
Rock said he's also upset with the way the crown is handling the case, ordering that his client be subpoenaed for a month or four months at a time, something the defence attorney called "ridiculous."
Rock said if the case goes before a jury, he'll request that the charges be dropped since his client may not be able to get a fair trial. Both the defence and the crown indicated it may be awhile before it gets to trial.
The case is back in court in three weeks and the accused were once again ordered to be present.
Photo of Daniel Rock: Shuyee Lee