Quebec City prosecutors attempting to remove judge in order to avoid disclosing police notes in Singh case

Media Advisory

Quebec City prosecutors attempting to remove judge in order to avoid disclosing police notes in Singh case

May 30, 2018 — Quebec City prosecutors are taking the extraordinary and extreme step of trying to remove a judge from the trial of a self-represented defendant in the criminal trial involving Jaggi Singh's arrest and charges resulting from a protest against the racist far-right on August 20, 2017.

The motion by the prosecutors will be heard today: WEDNESDAY, MAY 30 at 9:30am at Quebec City's Palais de Justice.

The prosecutors are upset that they are ordered, under long-standing disclosure obligations upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada, to provide police notes to the judge for examination. Instead of complying with the judicial order, the prosecutors – François Dugré and Marie-Hélène Guillemette – are alleging bias by the judge in the favor of the defendant (even though in a recent decision, the judge ruled against Singh, who is self-represented, in three out of four matters).

Importantly, the current Municipal Court trial judge, Pierre Bordeleau, usually sits in Shawinigan, but was designated judge in this Quebec City case, ostensibly, to avoid the appearance of bias in the context of arrest and charges that happened after the Mayor of Quebec City singled out Singh during a media briefing. Subsequent to the Mayor's comments, Quebec City police sought criminal charges, even though Singh was originally released without charges on August 20, 2017. The charges were approved by Quebec City prosecutors, who contravened their own internal directives by seeking criminal charges (instead of issuing tickets) and by seeking a targeted arrested warrant (instead of issuing a promise-to-appear). The arrest warrant was approved by a Quebec City judge in a closed session with a single police officer.

In the words of Jaggi Singh: "The Quebec City prosecutors are continuing their abuse of process in this case by seeking to remove a judge who has issued a decision that's inconvenient for them. Police officers, as well as prosecutors, can't act with impunity, and all police notes related to the racist far-right demonstration on August 20, 2017 can't be kept from a defendant in a criminal case. To date, my disclosure request has shown that important evidence, including audio and video, was handed over late, while other evidence conveniently does not exist. There is also clear evidence that senior Quebec City police officers, in conjunction with Quebec City prosecutors, specifically sought out criminal charges after the Mayor's comments in this matter."

– Un autre juge pour Jaggi Singh? (Le Soleil):