Montreal

Lise Thibault granted conditional release after serving 6 months

Quebec's former lieutenant-governor, who pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust charges in 2015, will be released with "severe" conditions tomorrow, her husband has confirmed.

Ex-lieutenant-governor sentenced to 18 months for fraud, breach of trust

Former Quebec lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault, accompanied here by her husband Réal Cloutier, will be released with conditions on Aug. 17. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Quebec's former lieutenant-governor, Lise Thibault, who pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust charges in 2015, will be released with conditions after serving six months in jail. 

Thibault's husband, Réal Cloutier, confirmed to Radio-Canada that Thibault is to be released tomorrow.

"Her conditions remain very severe," he said. "She cannot go outside a 50-kilometre radius of her home … It's not freedom. She'll remain in prison in her home."

Thibault, 77, was sentenced to 18 months and ordered to repay $300,000 to taxpayers last fall after she pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust charges in connection with expenses she claimed while in office.

She appealed the sentence, asking to serve her time in the community rather than in jail. In February, the province's top court rejected her appeal, and she was taken to a Quebec City detention facility.

Thibault had to serve a sixth of her sentence before requesting a conditional release, a milestone she reached on May 18. 

 A correctional panel granted Thibault a leave from jail valid from June 2 to July 17 in preparation for her eventual release.

Thibault was first charged in 2009 after the Journal de Québec revealed she spent public funds on herself and her family during her 10-year tenure. 

Allegations of misspending first came to light at the end of her term, after a Quebec auditor's report challenged $711,200 of expenses, including housing and meals already paid for by the province.​

In addition to her jail term, Thibault had to repay the federal government $200,000. The government of Quebec seized property and furniture to recover the $100,000 it was owed. 

Thibault was also ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million to the federal and provincial revenue agencies for tax owed on unreported income during her two terms.

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