A charge of obstructing justice against an RCMP officer in Moncton was withdrawn in court Wednesday almost a year after it was laid. It marks the end of a case that saw three officers charged.
Cpl. Mathieu Potvin, Const. Eric Pichette and Const. Graham Bourque were all charged in December 2020, accused of destroying evidence May 15, 2019, during a criminal investigation.
A defence lawyer has said in court the evidence was surveillance video from an investigation into drug trafficking.
Charges against Potvin and Pichette were withdrawn in April.
Renée Roy, a lawyer representing Bourque, appeared in court Wednesday scheduled to enter a plea. Bourque was not present in court.
Instead, Crown prosecutor Shara Munn told provincial court Judge Paul Duffie that the charge would be withdrawn.
Roy told reporters after the brief court appearance that the prosecutor, the third to handle the case, contacted her Tuesday to say a review of the file was complete. Roy said she was told that based on the review, there wasn't a likelihood of conviction, and the Crown would drop the charge.
Roy said her client is happy that the charge has been dropped.
"He has been going through a very difficult year," Roy said. "It's been a year this has been looming over him."
She said his professional integrity was questioned and he's looking forward to clearing his name and returning to work.
Suspended with pay
All three officers were suspended with pay Dec. 15, 2020, shortly before the charges were laid in court.
Cpl. Hans Ouellette, a spokesperson for the RCMP in New Brunswick, said on Wednesday that the three officers remain suspended with pay pending the outcome of an RCMP code of conduct investigation.
There was no timeline for when that may be complete.
Pat Bouchard, the Atlantic region director for the National Police Federation, said in a statement the union representing the Mounties is pleased the charge was dropped.