Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Internal investigation launched into Operation SharQc trial

Virtually every member of the Hells Angels in Quebec was arrested in Operation SharQc in April 2009. More than 100 of the 156 people initially charged were active or retired members of the world’s largest outlaw motorcycle gang. Most of the evidence in Operation SharQc involved a period between 1994 and 2002 — when the Hells Angels were at war over drug trafficking turf across Quebec. The prosecution set out to prove all of the gang’s chapters in the province voted in favour of the war.

On October 9th a stay of proceedings on all of the charges against Claude Berger, Yvon Tanguay, François Vachon, Sylvain Vachon, and Michel Vallières was entered. The court ruled there was no other remedy available to repair how the prosecution held back in turning over key evidence. Evidence was only handed over with the trial a month old.
The decision had a ripple effect that caused dozens of Hells Angels who had already pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge to challenge the legitimacy of the plea bargain deals they agreed to and the long sentences they received.

Now there will be an 'administrative investigation' into "the conduct of the prosecution ... as well as the values of justice, integrity and competence". Findings are expected no later than December 18th. A dozen Hells Angels will get their Harley Davidson motorcycles back, as long as they agree to remove gang insignia. The province will keep Rolex watches, firearms and stacks of cash worth over half a million dollars.