Bad Beat: 76-year-old former Quebec official goes to jail

Former Quebec lieutenant governor Lise Thibault leaves the courtroom in wheelchair after receiving an 18-month sentence, Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Quebec City
Former Quebec lieutenant governor Lise Thibault leaves the courtroom after receiving an 18-month sentence, Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Her Majesty the Queen won’t like this.

Lise Thibault — former representative of the Queen in the province of Quebec — was sentenced to 18 months in prison after the court found her guilty of fraud and breach of trust.

Thibault is 76 years old and in a wheelchair. She was the lieutenant governor of Quebec for 10 years between 1997 and 2007. Audit reports that came out in 2007 showed she claimed a number of inappropriate expenses that totaled nearly $700,000. The expenses included gifts, parties, golf lessons, and trips.

The judge scolded Thibault calling her acts “highly reprehensible.” She was tearful in court and said she never thought she’d one day be before a judge and could not imagine her grandchildren having the memory of their grandmother being treated like a thief.

During the trial, it was argued that Thibault had royal immunity and could not be charged with crimes. The judge ruled that she is not the Queen and does not benefit from immunity. Her lawyer is planning on appealing the sentence.

Italy wants to prosecute Toronto Mafia leaders

You know who else has no immunity against criminal charges: mob leaders.

Italy is cracking down on the “elite of the underworld,” some of whom live in Canada. A number of current and former Canadian residents are named as suspects as Italian prosecutors launch a historical case against the Mafia.

The named individuals face charges in relation to dealings in guns, drugs, money laundering, and illegal transactions in the flower and chocolate markets. Some charges relate to 250 tons of stolen Lindt chocolate.

The investigations that led to the naming of the suspects concentrated on a number of “clans” who allegedly have a strong presence in Canada. Some of the suspects were previously named in an 2010 Ontario investigation of the Mafia.

Most of the individuals facing overseas charges are from the Toronto area, including Rocco Remisso who was convicted of crimes in Canada in 1981 and 1984. Canada may be required to extradite these individuals so they can be prosecuted in Italy.

Anyone tempted to watch the Godfather?

Developments in Turcotte’s murder trial of his two young children

Some crimes are simply horrific and best left to feature in movies only. Such is the case of the 43-year-old former surgeon, Guy Turcotte, who has pled not guilty to murder charges. He has, however, confessed to having caused the deaths of his five-year-old son, Olivier, and three-year-old daughter, Anne-Sophie. It looks like he wants to be found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder.

Earlier this week, the mother of the two children testified about her rocky relationship with Turcotte and his rage over her taking a lover. Most recently, an expert in blood spatter told the court that the evidence suggests Olivier was stabbed 27 times and Anne-Sophie 19 times. It calls for a pause and a deep breath, doesn’t it?

One of the 12 jurors has been dismissed due to undisclosed reasons. Another is having surgery for a recent injury. The trial will likely resume next week.

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