Ex-Minister Tomassi skips pretrial in fraud case

Former Liberal families minister Tony Tomassi has waived his right to a preliminary inquiry into his fraud and breach-of-trust charges and will go straight to trial by jury.

Liberals' onetime minister of families to face jury on 3 criminal charges

Former Liberal cabinet minister Tony Tomassi will go straight to a jury trial on fraud charges, without a preliminary inquiry. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Former Liberal families minister Tony Tomassi is waiving his right to a preliminary inquiry into his fraud and breach-of-trust charges and will go straight to trial by jury.

The date for Tomassi's trial will be determined on Dec. 3.

Tomassi's charges stem from events that took place between November 2007 and May 2010, during the latter two years of which he was a member of outgoing Premier Jean Charest's cabinet.

Tomassi was ousted from cabinet and the Liberal caucus in May 2010, shortly after he admitted using a credit card from the Canadian Bureau of Investigations and Adjustments, a now-defunct security agency, for personal purchases of gasoline. The card belonged to his friend Luigi Coretti, the owner of CBIA, a company that had received a $4-million grant from the Quebec government.

In the weeks before his departure, Tomassi had also been battered with allegations of cronyism in the awarding of contracts for public day-care permits.

He resigned his seat in Quebec's national assembly, where he was MNA for the east-end Montreal riding of LaFontaine, last May.

Anyone slated to be tried in a Superior Court in Canada generally has a right to a preliminary inquiry, where the Crown presents the main parts of its case and a judge decides whether there's enough evidence to go to a full trial. An accused can also waive their right to a pretrial.

Tomassi is charged with:

  • Receiving compensation, an advantage or a benefit from a third-party business dealing with the government, between Nov. 1, 2007 and Dec. 18, 2008.
  • Accepting a loan, compensation or benefit from the Canadian Bureau of Investigations and Adjustments security firm in exchange for influence Tomassi had with the government, between July 1, 2006, and Dec. 18, 2008.
  • Breaching trust with respect to his government position, between July 1, 2006, and May 6, 2010.