Duchesneau stunned by questions at inquiry
Published Friday, June 22, 2012 4:12PM EDT
MONTREAL — Quebec government lawyer Benoit Boucher spent Thursday morning cross-examining the former head of the province's anti-corruption unit, Jacques Duchesneau, about his contact, mandate, and his first months on the job.
Much of Boucher's questioning seemed to be aimed at Duchesneau's damning testimony where he painted a bleak picture of the government's complete disinterest in the anti-corruption squad.
According to the former Montreal police chief, he and his inspectors were given no office, no vehicles and no identification cards for months. Boucher challenged Duchesneau's earlier description of the squad "squatting" in a corner of a Transport Quebec annex.
To make his point, Boucher repeatedly asked whether Duchesneau's team had access to a bathroom. They did.
After the line of questioning was finished, having gone through Duchesneau's history and contract, the investigator was stunned.
"I pointed my finger at collusion and you are looking at my finger instead of the collusion," exclaimed Duchesneau, who dismissed the lawyer's questions as administrative.
The government lawyer questioned him over the amenities in the offices, a kitchen and a bathroom
The presiding judge had a hard time following the line of questioning which became so fierce at one point that the presiding judge cautioned other lawyers to avoid aggressive cross-examinations.
Duchesneau even fielded tough questions from a lawyer for the Parti Quebecois, which has been accusing the governing Liberals of corruption for months.
The party wanted to know why Duchesneau had taken it upon himself to continue his investigation into political corruption after he had been relieved of his duties as the leader of an anti-collusion unit.
--with files from The Canadian Press.