Accurso trying to avoid testifying at Charbonneau
Construction magnate Tony Accurso made his case today before Quebec Superior Court to try to be exempt from testifying before the Charbonnneau commission.
Accurso wasn't in court but he was represented by two lawyers who argued that their client's rights would be violated and that his testimony could be used to incriminate him.
Accurso faces several charges including fraud, influence peddling and breach of trust.
Accurso's lawyers argue that the commission is out to get their client, pointing to police collaboration in a bid to arrest Accurso and then get him to testify before the commission.
They further contend that testifying before the commission would involve all sorts of conflicts of interest and prevent Accurso from having a fair say, adding that Superior Court would be the most appropriate venue.
But commission lawyers dismissed those arguments, saying that Accurso's rights, like those of all witnesses, would be fully protected.
They also argue that police collaboration is par for the course for such an inquiry, that was designed to examine the corruption and collusion problems in the construction industry, identify solutions and improve the way things work.
The commission lawyers want the judge to reject Accurso's request to get out of testifying. If the judge finds in favour of Accurso, then they'll set a hearing to debate the matter on the main arguments.
The judge has taken the case under deliberation.
Photo: La Presse