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Quebec’s former deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau is invoking the Jordan ruling to quash her trial.
In a motion filed Friday at the Court of Quebec, the former Liberal minister’s lawyer Maxime Roy requested a stay of proceedings, finding that the constitutional rights of his client were ‘violated,’
Under the Jordan decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada, the maximum time for a trial – from the laying of charges to its conclusion – is 18 months for provincial court cases and 30 months for cases before superior courts or requiring preliminary inquiries.
If the trial goes beyond this time, the Crown must prove that the delay is due to ‘exceptional circumstances,’ that is, ‘reasonably unforeseen or reasonably unavoidable, and cannot be reasonably remedied,’ the country’s highest court has ruled.
Normandeau was arrested in March 2016, meaning it has now been 21 months since the charges were laid and her trial is to begin on April 9.
The former Charest government minister faces accusations of conspiracy, corruption, fraud and breach of trust with five co-defendants; former chief of staff Bruno Lortie, Marc-Yvan Côté, Mario W Martel and France Michaud de Roche as well as the former mayor of Gaspé François Roussy.
The trial is expected to last at least four months, according to the Crown, which had a list of 139 potential witnesses as of September.
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