Fraud charges against Tony Accurso, 4 others, stayed by Crown

·1 min read
The case against former construction magnate Tony Accurso over an alleged federal tax fraud has been abandoned. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press - image credit)
The case against former construction magnate Tony Accurso over an alleged federal tax fraud has been abandoned. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press - image credit)

The fraud case against former Montreal construction boss Tony Accurso, along with four co-accused, has been stayed by the Crown.

Prosecutors had accused Accurso, Francesco Bruno, Francesco Fiorino, Antonio Girardi and Adriano Furgiuele of being part of a corruption scheme at the Canada Revenue Agency.

The case was suspended in April, after the judge ordered the Crown to hand over 600 boxes of evidence to the defence.

Crown prosecutor François Blanchette asked for a stay of procedure on Thursday, saying that it wasn't possible to hand over that much evidence within a reasonable delay.

Considering the charges were brought in 2012, the maximum time limit provided for by the Jordan ruling had been exceeded, but the Court recognized the complexity of the case — one of the exceptions to the application of the maximum time limits imposed by the Supreme Court — and allowed it to go ahead.

Earlier this year, the judge gave the Crown until June 4 to hand over all the documents.

Blanchette told La Presse Canadienne that digitizing the evidence was an enormous task and could not be completed on time.

"We're talking about hundreds of thousands of pages, different formats, double-sided, etc. We can't do the scanning, indexing, filing, sorting and everything just any old way," he said.

"We came to the conclusion that, unfortunately for us, we couldn't continue the proceedings in this case. We must act like officers of the law and put our emotions aside."

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