Obstruction charges dropped against two Moncton RCMP officers

·2 min read
Two Codiac Regional RCMP officers faced a single count of obstruction of justice, which the Crown withdrew on Monday after saying there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.  (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)
Two Codiac Regional RCMP officers faced a single count of obstruction of justice, which the Crown withdrew on Monday after saying there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)

Charges of obstruction of justice against two Codiac Regional RCMP officers have been dropped by the Crown prosecutor, who says there's no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.

Cpl. Mathieu Potvin, 33, Const. Eric Pichette, 39, had each been charged with a single count of obstructing justice by destroying evidence in a criminal investigation. The alleged destruction occurred May 15, 2019.

Lawyers for Potvin and Pichette appeared in Moncton provincial court on Monday, when the two officers were set to elect the mode of trial. Neither officer was present in court.

Crown prosecutor Claude Haché told Judge Luc Labonté that based on "extremely thorough" discussions with defence lawyers for the two officers and new information that arose in those conversations, the charges would be withdrawn.

"The Crown no longer has a reasonable prospect of conviction," Haché said.

"That should end the matter."

Const. Graham Bourque, 32, was also charged. All three were suspended with pay on Dec. 15 and charged Dec. 28.

Bourque is set to appear in court on May 17.

Renée Roy, who is representing Bourque, was in the courtroom Monday when the charges against the other officers were dropped.

She told reporters later that she was happy for the two officers and hopes for the same outcome for her client.

RCMP have not said what evidence was allegedly destroyed or what investigation it affected. A defence lawyer has said in court the evidence was surveillance video from an investigation into alleged drug trafficking.

Defence lawyer Luc Roy represented Mathieu Potvin and says his client is happy the charge was dropped.
Defence lawyer Luc Roy represented Mathieu Potvin and says his client is happy the charge was dropped. (Shane Magee/CBC)

Defence lawyers Luc Roy, representing Potvin, and Brian Munro, who represents Pichette, declined to say what new information led to the Crown's decision.

They also declined to elaborate on what alleged actions led to the charges, given Bourque still faces a charge.

"He's very happy," Luc Roy said about his client's view of the outcome. "Cpl. Potvin is a good cop and I don't see any reason why he won't be back on the Codiac force soon."

When the charges were announced, the RCMP also said the three officers would face a separate investigation under the force's code of conduct.

Cpl. Hans Ouellette, a spokesperson for the New Brunswick RCMP, said on Monday that the officers' status with the force will be reviewed pending the outcome of the criminal cases and the code of conduct review.

The Public Prosecutions Services did not provide an interview.