Tony Accurso will indeed undergo his trial despite the pandemic, ruled a judge by recalling that even if the situation is worrying, many measures to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the courtroom.
• Read also: Accurso wants to postpone his trial
• Read also: Tony Accurso’s fraud trial begins
“We simply cannot stop everything,” said Justice Mélanie Hébert, rejecting the ex-entrepreneur’s motion to stay the trial this noon in Montreal.
Accurso, 69, is accused of conspiring with an official from the Canada Revenue Agency, among others, to save two of his businesses $ 3 million in taxes.
However, due to the pandemic, his lawyer asked to postpone the case, which has already dragged on since 2012, due to the risks of contracting the coronavirus.
“We cannot be more than 10 for a funeral, it becomes difficult to justify that we would be 20 people in the courtroom for three months. The situation here is clearly dangerous, ”Mr. Marc Labelle worried.
Except that if the measures taken by the legal services do not achieve zero risk, they are adequate according to public health, recalled the magistrate.
“They acted with seriousness and diligence,” she said, stressing that following a public health visit to the building of the Youth Division of the Court of Quebec where the trial is taking place, fixes and improvements have been made.
But if the trial is not postponed, the judge said she expected it to be slowed down anyway due to the pandemic.
“I’m a realist, I expect us to take it slow,” she said.
The hearings will therefore continue for the next few weeks, although it would be surprising if a first witness was heard from next Monday.