Disgraced former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum has asked the court to throw out his criminal case.

Applebaum fought back tears in court Monday morning as he asked for a stay of proceedings in his fraud case which began three years ago. He argued that court delays have jeopardized his personal and professional life. 

He was serving as interim mayor of Montreal when he was arrested by the province's anti-corruption squad in June 2013 and charged with 14 counts including fraud, corruption, and breach of trust.

The preliminary hearing wrapped up in June 2015, but in court Monday his lawyer argued the subsequent delays have been unreasonable and jeopardize his right to a fair and speedy trial.

Applebaum is accused of accepting bribes connected to real estate deals that took place while he was mayor of Cote des Neiges/Notre Dame de Grace between 2002 and 2012.

His trial is currently scheduled to begin in September 2017, more than four years after his arrest.

A tearful Applebaum testified Monday that the delays have taken their toll on his health and personal life.


"We stay at home and watch TV. I can't leave my house, people talk, and people stare at me," he said.


The former mayor said he only goes out to walk his dog but rarely socializes.  As for his professional life, the man who once ran the entire city says he finds it difficult to recruit clients as a real-estate agent, adding that he was denied a small loan to start a business.


"It's a fall from grace. Everywhere I go, people know.  You have a perception of guilty before proven innocent. It's hard to be out in the public on a daily basis," he said.


Prosecutor Nathalie Kleber countered that Applebaum's hardship is related to his notoriety and the charges he's facing, not because of undue delays.

The judge will decide on June 28, 2016 if Applebaum's petition to dismiss the case will be approved. 

The co-accused in the case pleaded guilty in 2015, but Applebaum maintains his innocence.

Long-time former city councillor Saulie Zajdel was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and ordered to donate $10,000 to charity after pleading guilty to breach of trust and corruption.

Jean-Yves Bisson, who oversaw permits for the borough, pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe. He was ordered to donate $13,000 to charity and sentenced to 240 hours of community service.