Montreal

Hells Angels mega-trial comes to an end, 5 men freed

The judge in the Hells Angels mega-trial has put an end to the proceedings, releasing five men accused of murder and conspiracy.

Crown prosecutor may seek an appeal in the coming days

The mega-trial for the Hells Angels is over after a Quebec judge ruled evidence was not properly divulged to the defence. (EdStock/iStock)

The judge in the Hells Angels mega-trial has put an end to the proceedings, releasing five men accused of murder and conspiracy.

Judge James Brunton ruled that some of the evidence was not properly divulged to the defence.

The five — Claude Berger, Yvon Tanguay, François Vachon, Sylvain Vachon and Michel Vallières — were freed after Brunton released his decision today.

Jean-Pascal Boucher from the Crown prosecutor's office said his department will examine the ruling.

"In the next days we'll analyze the decision, take time to evaluate the options for us and to decide if it's an opportunity to appeal... this decision," said Boucher.

SharQc arrests in 2009

A total of 156 people were arrested in 2009 on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and gangsterism during the SharQc operation — a massive sting aimed at dismantling the outlaw motorcycle gang. 

In order to avoid a trial 105 of those arrested have pleaded guilty, some of those to lesser charges. Another 31 were released in 2011 after a judge ruled there had been unreasonable delays in their cases.

The charges against Christian Ménard were dropped. He had been facing charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with a killing 14 years ago.

The final pair of accused, Robert Bonomo and John Coates, are scheduled to begin an English-language trial in January of 2017.

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