Judge rejects Michael Applebaum's request to have charges thrown out

A Quebec Court judge has rejected former mayor Michael Appleabaum's request to throw out the charges against him because of unreasonable delay before going to trial. The trial is now set to begin this November.

Montreal's former mayor is facing 14 charges including fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust

Michael Applebaum's lawyer says there has been an unreasonable delay between the former mayor's arrest in June 2013 and his trial, which is set to begin in September 2017. (CP Photo: Ryan Remiorz)

A Quebec Court judge has rejected former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum's request to throw out the fraud charges against him. 

Applebaum had argued in court last month the delay between his arrest and the start date for his trial in September 2017 was too long.

On Tuesday, Judge Robert Marchi said the trial on charges of fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust will start this November, 10 months earlier than expected.

'Thank you very much,' Applebaum says

After the judge read his ruling, he called Applebaum to the witness box and informed him that the delay between his arrest and the trial would be shortened to 41 months instead of 51.

The judge called that delay reasonable.

Applebaum responded: "Perfect. Thank you very much."

Applebaum was arrested in June 2013 while still serving as mayor.

He resigned after police filed 14 charges tied to his time as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a position he held from 2002 to 2012.

Search warrant documents show police believed Applebaum was asking real estate developers for cash in return for zoning changes. Those allegations have yet to be tested in court.

In May, Applebaum's lawyer Pierre Teasdale said the delay in the trial's start time was causing unreasonable prejudice and that the charges should be set aside.

Eric Sutton, a criminal defence attorney, said prior to Tuesday's ruling that trials usually don't take so long to start.

"Generally, an accused is entitled to have his trial within eight to 10 months," he said.

With files from Steve Smith and Raffy Boudjikanian