The fraud and corruption trial of well-known Quebec construction boss Tony Accurso ended abruptly Friday when a judge declared a mistrial because of a stunning revelation by a juror.
Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton said it was the first time in his 15 years on the bench he’d gone that route, but he told the court he was left with no other choice.
Accurso, 65, was on trial for charges stemming from a corruption scheme that included former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.
The Crown was expected to make its final arguments — following the defence Thursday — and the jurors were to be sequestered next week.
But the court was confronted with a juror’s note about information pertaining to a key witness named Marc Gendron.
Gendron was the only person to testify that he received $200,000 from Accurso directly — in a Laval parking lot
Accurso was facing five charges: conspiracy to commit corruption in municipal affairs; conspiracy to commit fraud; fraud; corruption of municipal officials; and breach of trust.
Because it was a mistrial and not a stay of proceedings, the Crown will seek a new trial.
His lawyers declined to comment as they left the courthouse.
Prosecution spokesman Jean Pascal Boucher said the Crown is set to begin the case anew.
The case returns to court Jan. 17.
Read the full story over at the Globe and Mail