Bellemare admits no independent proof of corruption

Former justice minister testifies for a second day at commission on judicial nominations

On Monday, former Quebec justice minister Marc Bellemare told a commission looking into government corruption regarding judicial nominations that premier Jean Charest told him to appoint three specific people to the bench. Bellemare says Charest told him that “If [Liberal fundraiser Franco Fava] tells you to name [Michel] Simard and [Marc] Bisson, then name them.” On Tuesday Bellemare admitted to the commission he has no independent proof and no notes. “Maybe there are people who at the time were aware of this and could confirm it to you,” he said, referring to his former deputy minister Michel Lalande, among others. “But I don’t have documents, or audio or video of that.” Bellemare said at one point that he took notes, but destroyed them in March. In an apparent contradiction, he later said he doesn’t take notes because he “has a good memory.” Yesterday, Bellemare retracted his accusations that former MNA Norman MacMillan and former labour minister Michel Despres pressured him to name certain people to the bench. Charest has dismissed Bellemare’s allegations.

Montreal Gazette

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