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Quebec's anti-corruption unit issues apology to member of legislature for 2017 arrest

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is apologizing to Independent legislature member Guy Ouellette for arresting him in October 2017 for allegedly leaking sensitive documents about an investigation to the media.

Ouellette, a former Liberal member, was never charged and the warrants used to search his home have been struck down. He is suing the Quebec government for $550,000 over that arrest.

Frédérick Gaudreau, head of the anti-corruption police force known as UPAC, issued the apology to Ouellette in person at a news conference today. Neither men took questions from journalists.

Ouellette was accused of leaking documents related to UPAC’s probe of alleged illegal financing of the Quebec Liberal party under ex-premier Jean Charest, who has also filed legal action against the Quebec government over the case.

Gaudreau says Ouellette’s arrest was unjustified and resulted from a “faulty” investigation.

He apologized on behalf of UPAC for the “devastating consequences” the arrest and the investigation had on the professional and personal life of the politician.

“We are conscious that the events violated the integrity of (Ouellette) and caused him irreparable harm and we sincerely apologize,” Gaudreau said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press