MONTREAL — Former Parti Québécois leader André Boisclair is renouncing his right to a preliminary inquiry on sexual assault charges and will go directly to trial.
Boisclair is charged in two separate cases involving two different alleged victims whose identities are covered by a publication ban.
He is charged in the first case with sexual assault with the participation of another person and sexual assault with a weapon, regarding events that allegedly occurred in January 2014. He has pleaded not guilty.
The former politician who served as PQ leader between 2005 and 2007 was not present in court today as his lawyer announced the decision to forgo a preliminary inquiry in that case.
Boisclair is charged with sexual assault in a second case, involving events dating back to November 2015. The Crown said today there is no preliminary inquiry provided by law for the charge, and Boisclair will also head directly to trial for that case.
His lawyer, Michel Massicotte, said today his client prefers to be tried before a judge alone in both cases rather than before a jury. Both cases have been put off until Nov. 18.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2021.
The Canadian Press