UPAC recognizes that Justesse is "a failure"

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Noting the failure of a resounding investigation into an alleged real estate fraud that several suspects were liberal fundraisers, the UPAC notes a decline in trust in his organization, which receives half as much information as five years ago .

• Read also: Investigation Justesse abandonnee: the "trust of the population" is at stake, says Francois Legault

Presenting his annual report, Mr. Gaudreau acknowledged that Justesse was a "failure". However, he remained reserved on the information explaining his decision announced last week.

"The public's trust in us has eroded over time and I intend to make every effort to regain it," said Gaudreau.

In a statement, UPAC announced Friday that it was giving up any possibility of criminal charges being laid on this file. The police force gave no explanation as to its motives.

"Surprised" by the closure of the file, Prime Minister Francois Legault himself asked for explanations on this subject to the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC).

During a press conference, Mr. Gaudreau explained that he closed several investigations, including Justesse, after an analysis of police files.

Law

According to the Commissioner, the decision concerning Justesse has been made necessary by the evolution of the law in recent years.

Judgments have thus invalidated certain police investigation techniques, thereby affecting the evidence gathered.

"In a remote way we can perceive it as a failure but I remain convinced that we will come out with constructive elements," he said.

Mr. Gaudreau, however, remained vague on the evidence referred to.

"The law has evolved enormously in the last ten years and we must comply with these case law. Just because we began an investigation ten years ago does not mean that the law of ten years ago applies. "

Mr. Gaudreau declined to say whether the UPAC could have decided earlier to close Justesse for this reason.

Duty

The UPAC monitoring committee may be interested in the specific aspects that led to the closing of the file.

"It will be up to the oversight committee to determine to a certain extent what information could be communicated," said Mr. Gaudreau. My duty is a duty of confidentiality and I will stick to that. "

Fraud

The Justesse survey, which began in 2010, examined questionable real estate transactions made in 2004 and 2007 by the Societe immobiliere du Quebec (SIQ).

Franco Fava and two other former Quebec Liberal Party organizers, William Bartlett and Charles Rondeau, were among the suspects, as was former SIQ boss Marc-Andre Fortier.

The Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit believed that they had committed fraud that allowed them to pocket secret commissions of more than $ 2 million "in connection with the sale of buildings and long term rentals".

Downgrades

While noting that the denunciations are very important for the dynamism of the UPAC, Mr. Gaudreau found that their number has halved for five years.

"The decrease in reports is a concern," he said. (…) Certainly trust in our institution can have an impact. "

The number of reports increased from 1029 in 2014-15 to 513 in the last year completed.

Numbers

Last year, Mr. Gaudreau revealed that 10 investigative positions were vacant at UPAC. That number has remained almost unchanged, he said on Wednesday. He explained that his investigators were "quite experienced". Last year, the Commissioner explained that several police officers were making their first inquiries at UPAC.

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https://www.journaldequebec.com/2019/11/13/lupac-reconnait-que-justesse-est-un-echec

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