Retired cop accused of aiding Hells Angels in court
Published Wednesday, January 8, 2014 9:03AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 8, 2014 9:09PM EST
A former high-ranking Montreal police officer alleged of selling secrets to the Hells Angels has decided to waive his right to a bail hearing.
Former Sergeant-Detective Benoit Roberge is accused of obstructing justice, breach of trust, and gangsterism after allegedly selling police information to the Hells Angels.
Roberge’s latest lawyer -- his sixth -- told reporters on Wednesday that Roberge, 50, has decided to stay in custody pending his preliminary hearing.
“We prefer to present the bail hearing on the basis of evidence that will have been tested through the preliminary hearing, preferably to simply present the bail hearing on the basis of announced evidence,” said attorney Richard Perras, who confirmed to Judge Robert Marchi that decision.
Perras said has not yet seen some of that evidence. He requested today that documents be unsealed.
Since Roberge's arrest he has had a succession of lawyers, several of which have had to abandon his case because of a conflict of interest.
Roberge was a key officer in the struggle to contain biker gangs in the 90s, and retired from the force last year to work for Revenue Quebec, only to be arrested in October in the company of several members of the criminal gang.
The arrest came after the SQ investigated Hells Angel Rene Charlebois, who escaped from a federal penitentiary a month earlier, then committed suicide as police were closing in.
The arrest sent shockwaves through Montreal’s police department, but also through its courthouse – Roberge’s wife is a criminal prosecutor who often handled organized crime cases involving the Hells Angels.
The two prosecutors working on the case are from Quebec City.
Roberge has been in custody at Riviere-des-Prairies Detention Centre since his arrest.
“So the judge decided that Roberge will stay in detention waiting the preliminary inquiry,” said Crown prosecutor Jean-Pascal Boucher.
That’s a difficult proposition, said Perras.
“When you're a police officer who has in the past arrested certain people who might be there, your security is at risk and the authorities of the detention centre are aware of that and take measures to diminish the risk,” he said.
Proceedings continue Jan. 23.
-With a report from La Presse Canadienne