Villanueva inquest resumes Monday
Published Sunday, October 25, 2009 4:49PM EDT
After months of delays and controversy, a coroner's inquest into the shooting death of Montreal teenager Fredy Villanueva is set to resume Monday.
Judge Andre Perreault will preside over the inquest instead of Judge Robert Sansfacon, who pulled out of the proceedings in September for health reasons.
The inquest was called after Villanueva, 18, was fatally shot by Montreal police in a Montreal North park in August 2008 during an altercation between two officers and a group of young men.
Two other men -- Denis Meas, 18, and Jeffrey Sagor Metellus, 20 -- were wounded in the melee.
The incident triggered widespread outrage was followed by rioting in the neighbourhood.
Credibility and fairness
Judge Sansfacon had postponed the proceedings in May after the two youths who survived the shooting said they would not be participating.
Meas and Metellus said the Quebec government had failed to keep a promise to pay for the Villanueva family's lawyers, as well as legal representation for other inquiry participants.
Sansfacon said the inquest would not be fair or credible unless the victims and their families had access to legal aid.
In July, Quebec offered to cover the legal fees for the two young men.
After a number of complaints from community groups, the government also agreed to broaden the scope of the inquiry to address issues of racial profiling, police brutality and poverty in the neighbourhood.