November 27, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Trial by Harold Lebel | Surprise: Complainant returns to testify

Former MP Harold Lebel’s sexual assault case took an unexpected turn in a Rimouski court on Monday morning when the complainant was called back to the stand. In terrorism Due to new information.


The defense attorney learned Wednesday evening that the young woman is participating in a Quebecois documentary in which she wants to reveal her identity. Me Maxim Roy believes it deserves to be given to the members of the jury, who are usually sequestered on Monday morning after receiving the judge’s instructions.

“On Wednesday, I told you that I will not ask you for any other evidence. However, I have made a decision whereby I authorize the parties to resume the hearing of the trial,” Judge Serge Francoeur said on Monday morning.

The complainant, who cannot be identified by court order, was subjected to fresh questions from Harold Lebel’s attorney. Me Roy believes that this new information tarnishes the integrity of the complainant.

“Did you know that many attempts were made to protect your identity during the investigation?” asked M.e Roy.

“I have done nothing wrong. I was sexually assaulted. Harold LeBelle has things to be ashamed of. I don’t have to shoulder this. I don’t have to be the person you see in front of the cameras during the trial. This is not my own investigation,” the complainant replied.

Harold Lebel’s attorney sought to understand why he did not disclose his participation in the press trial to jurors or investigators. “She has every right to participate in a documentary. But why not say that? ” asked M.e Roy to the members of the jury.

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The young woman pointed out that she did not see the point in doing so. He explained that it was part of his journey and that he was ready to reveal it after trying at all costs to protect his identity from the public.

“I want to turn these traumatic events into a positive even for society by explaining the legal process,” he said.

Documentary filmmaker Leah Clermont-Dien also remained anonymous throughout the sexual assault case against former journalist Michael Venne. After the verdict she chose to come out of the shadows.

Crown counsel argued to the jury that the complainant’s participation in a documentary had little to do with the heart of the case.

“This subject was not discussed in any way. Why? Is it because the guilt or innocence of the accused is irrelevant? ” asked M.e Manon Gaudreault.

Judge Francoeur intends to give his instructions to the jury this afternoon. After that, it must be isolated and give its verdict.

Harold Lebel has been charged with sexual assault. The complainant alleged that one evening in October 2017, he tried to kiss her, took off her bra and then groped her while she was sleeping in the Rimouski apartment of a former member of the Parti Québécois.

The former politician described a consensual kiss instead, and says nothing happened.