Former N.B. deputy attorney general chooses jury trial

·1 min read

A telephone conference was held Tuesday morning in court in Fredericton for a disbarred lawyer and former senior provincial government civil servant who is accused of fraud.

Yassin Choukri, his lawyer Gilles Lemieux, and Crown prosecutor Vicky Doucette conferred with provincial court Judge Brigitte Volpé at 11 a.m.

Choukri did not enter a plea but elected to be tried by judge and jury.

A preliminary hearing has been set for May 18 and 19. It may be held in Fredericton or Moncton. The location is to be decided in a followup conference call Friday at 9 a.m.

Choukri has been out on bail and living in Riverview since September.

The 53-year-old is accused of fraud in the amount of $486,148 involving eight clients.

He was arrested in Peel Region in Ontario in August and brought back to New Brunswick to face charges.

Fredericton Police Force
Fredericton Police Force

Doucette said expert reports would make up a big part of the Crown's case.

One expert will be coming from Halifax, the others are from the Fredericton area.

An RCMP expert is expected to take the most time testifying.

Doucette is based in the Moncton area but works for the Nova Scotia Crown prosecution service in Amherst.

An out-of-province prosecutor was brought in because of Choukri's former position as administrative head of New Brunswick's public prosecution service.

Choukri served as deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2006 under former Premier Bernard Lord. They were once law partners.

The Progressive Conservative government of David Alward made him public intervener at the Energy and Utilities Board in 2010.

Choukri abandoned his private law practice in 2016 and left the province.

He was disbarred in December 2017 after failing to show up for law society disciplinary proceedings.