Accused cop has bail hearing postponed
Published Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:54AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 11, 2013 8:36AM EDT
A former top investigator with the Montreal police force will remain behind bars at the Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Centre for at least another week, as his bail hearing Thursday was postponed because he changed lawyers.
Benoit Roberge was arrested Saturday by provincial police in a blockbuster development that shocked his former colleagues in the Montreal police department and raised doubts about the integrity of the force.
The former Sergeant-Detective is accused of selling information to the Hells Angels and was charged this week with four charges, including gangsterism.
Roberge informed the court that he had switched lawyers, changing from Giuseppe Battista to Gérald Soulière, who is not yet ready to proceed.
Roberge's hearing was complicated because of his lengthy history with the judicial system, and because his wife is a prosecutor. It was slightly difficult to find a prosecutor and a judge who did not have any prior relationship with Roberge.
In the end Roberge, 50, appeared before Justice Salvatore Mascia, and speaking with a subdued voice briefly answered questions posed by the judge.
He is scheduled to next appear in court on Oct. 17 and is meanwhile being kept in jail in protective custody for his own safety.
Late on Thursday Roberge lost his job with Revenue Quebec as the head of information services.
Prosecutor wife put on paid leave
Meanwhile Roberge's wife, Nancy Potvin, has been put on paid leave.
Even though she is not suspected of any wrongdoing, she is a Crown Prosecutor who frequently led cases against members of criminal gangs.
"She met with the Surete du Quebec yesterday, and yesterday at the end of the day we had some information saying she hasn't participated in her husband's activities," said Martine Berubé of the prosecutor's office.
Roberge's arrest has shocked many members of the Montreal law enforcement community, who say they never saw any sign the man could be corrupt.
There are also reports that Roberge was linked to the prison escape of Rene Charlebois, a Hells Angel who fled from prison while serving time for murder.
Charlebois was apparently afraid that Roberge was going to finger him as a police informant. Charlebois committed suicide when he was tracked down by the SQ.