Not any more

Guy Lafleur’s perjury conviction overturned

In Canada on August 17, 2010 at 21:01

MONTREAL — Guy Lafleur was acquitted Tuesday by the Quebec Court of Appeal of giving contradictory testimony at the trial of his son, Mark Lafleur.

A panel of three judges ruled that Superior Court Justice Carol Cohen had given “unwarranted weight” to Lafleur’s failing to tell a court hearing in September 2007 that his son had spent two weekends at a hotel.

At the time, Lafleur testified that his son, who was under a court-ordered curfew, was at his parent’s home during a weekend leave from a drug rehab centre.

A month later, when presented in court with hotel receipts, Lafleur admitted that Mark Lafleur had spent two nights at the hotel with a 16-year-old girl.

The Court of Appeal, however, faulted the Crown prosecutor for showing no evidence that Mark Lafleur was compelled to stay at his parents’ home. In fact, as of July 6, 2007, the rehab centre changed his conditions so that, with its permission, Mark Lafleur could spend the night elsewhere.

Therefore, Cohen was wrong to say that Guy Lafleur “lied” by failing to mention the nights his son spent at a hotel, the Appeal Court ruled.

“The evidence is clear,” the ruling said, that the rehab centre never told Guy Lafleur it had changed his son’s residence requirements.

When Lafleur was responding to questions from Quebec Court Judge Robert Sansfacon and did not mention the two weekends his son spent at the hotel, there is “at least a reasonable doubt” that he was trying to mislead the court.

At the time, Lafleur testified his son always respected his court-ordered curfew.

“A witness’s role is to answer questions, and one can hardly blame him for not mentioning an event … if the question is not posed,” the ruling found.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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