QUEBEC — Nathalie Normandeau’s judicial saga is over. The Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales announced Monday it will not appeal to reinstate the criminal charges against the former deputy premier and five co-accused.
The decision was made after a “profound analysis of the judgment” by the prosecution team, as well as a provincial appeal committee, said DPCP spokesperson Audrey Roy-Cloutier.
“I’m happy to turn the page,” Normandeau said in an emailed statement. “Considering the solidity of the judgment, it was the right decision to take.”
On Sept. 25, Quebec Court Judge André Perreault ordered a say in the proceedings against Normandeau and her co-accused because of unreasonable delays, citing the Supreme Court’s Jordan decision, setting an 18-month limit for Quebec Court cases to reach trial. Perreault calculated the total delay in this case at 52 months.
Normandeau was accused of participating in a clandestine political financing scheme in exchange for public contracts. Her co-accused were her former chief of staff Bruno Lortie, former Roche vice-president Marc-Yvan Côté, Roche employees Mario Martel and France Michaud, and former Gaspé mayor François Roussy. They were arrested on March 17, 2016.
The case was paralyzed by leaks to the media, which prosecutors had tried to argue were out of its control and should not have counted toward the delay.
Normandeau said she is “still in reflection” about the possibility of suing the government, which she said stole four and a half years from her life.