Gilles Vaillancourt preliminary hearing set for June 2014
37 suspects arrested in anti-corruption sweep expected back in court next summer
Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt and 36 other suspects facing corruption-related charges are expected back in court on June 30, 2014 for their preliminary hearing.
The 37 individuals were arrested in May during a sweep by Quebec's anti-corruption unit, UPAC.
The accused include Vaillancourt as well as the former director of engineering in Laval, Claude Deguise, former Laval city manager, Claude Asselin, Quebec entrepreneurs Antonio (Tony) Accurso and Mike Mergl, and the former vice-president of the Dessau engineering firm Rosaire Sauriol.
The accused appeared in court on Tuesday, where a Quebec judge ordered the preliminary hearing be set for June.
The defence lawyers argued that would not give them enough time to prepare, but the judge remained adamant on the date.
Defence lawyers are expected to return to court on December 19 for a pro-forma hearing.
Vaillancourt faces 12 charges including conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust and gangsterism. Gangsterism would carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Once called the King of Laval, Vaillancourt has maintained his innocence since he resigned last November amid mounting corruption allegations. He is expected to enter a plea of not guilty.