While spinning, two police officers involved in the investigation of media leaks at UPAC were "summoned" to a meeting at the personal residence of commissioner Robert Lafrenière.
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This is what we learn in the summary of an interrogation of the UPAC investigator, Denis Pelletier, as part of the Oath project. The latter was met by agents of the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) about the allegations of leaks that would have been orchestrated by certain senior leaders of UPAC.
Pelletier said he and his colleague Claude St-Cyr went to the commissioner's residence on September 6, 2017 around 7 p.m. They were then in the shadow.
Once there, it was Robert Lafrenière himself who opened the door for them before offering them a beer.
Beer and shorts
However, they refused since they were on duty. Lafrenière's right-hand man, André Boulanger, was already there too. He wore shorts and had a beer with the commissioner.
It was moreover Boulanger who had “summoned” the two men to the big boss of UPAC after having spoken to them on the telephone. According to Pelletier, he was yelling at the other end of the line, saying: "get on board or don't get on board." He spoke so loudly that he had trouble understanding him.
Once at Lafrenière's, the latter was relaxed, but Boulanger was furious. The discussion would have quickly revolved around the loyalty of the two investigators.
At the time, Boulanger and the two investigators were involved in Project A, an investigation aimed at identifying the perpetrators of media leaks.
Both men reiterated their loyalty and promised to work with Lafrenière and Boulanger.
“Lafrenière was happy to learn it according to Pelletier. The latter was not comfortable being at the commissioner's, but he did what Boulanger had asked of him”, can we read in the summary of the declaration.
Especially since they did not understand that they had been summoned when other police officers with a more important role were not present. “It was not normal”, is it written.
In the statement, Pelletier is critical and speaks of a "jello" investigation, without a solid structure. He believes that there were conflicts of interest with certain choices of investigators and that targets had been identified from the start of Project A.
The investigators are not the only ones to have gone to the commissioner. In another statement made by the investigator Karine Vincelette, we learn that the journalist André Noël, former journalist at La Presse and investigator at the Charbonneau commission, had gone to Lafrenière as did the host Paul Larocque of the TVA network.
In another statement by investigator Jean-Frédéric Gagnon, there are also reports of meetings of Commissioner Lafrenière with journalists at his residence. This information would have been transmitted to him after a meeting with the head of communications of the UPAC, Anne-Frédérick Laurence.
These declarations are part of the exhibits filed in support of a judgment by Judge André Perreault in 2020. They are part of the information transmitted by the Bureau of Independent Investigations in the context of the trial of former ministers Nathalie Normandeau, Marc-Yvan Côté and four others. co-accused.
The theory presented by the BEI indicates that Commissioner Robert Lafrenière and other senior UPAC leaders themselves orchestrated leaks of investigations to the media, including for personal and career advancement purposes.
Justice Perreault finally issued a stay of proceedings. The BEI investigation into the leaks continues to be active and no charges have been filed.