Queen's ex-Quebec rep to claim sovereign immunity in fraud trial - InfoNews

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Queen's ex-Quebec rep to claim sovereign immunity in fraud trial

Former Quebec Lt. Governor Lise Thibault testifies at a legislature committee to defend expenses she made in the past, Thursday Oct. 30, 2008 at the Quebec legislature. In a legal case that will test elements of the Crown's status in Canada, Thibault, the Queen's former representative in Quebec, is invoking sovereign privilege to avoid going to trial on fraud charges. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
June 15, 2012 - 12:04 PM

QUEBEC - The Queen's former representative in Quebec, who is invoking sovereign privilege to avoid going to trial on fraud charges, will have her rare legal argument heard later this summer.

The lawyer for Lise Thibault, Quebec's former lieutenant-governor, will argue that his client benefits from a sovereign immunity which should stop the Crown's criminal case against her from going further.

Lawyer Marc Labelle says his argument will center on a little-used common-law statute that states that "the Queen can do no wrong" — in other words, that the Crown prosecution cannot prosecute the Crown.

Thibault has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of breach of trust, fraud and creating false or counterfeit documents. Earlier this year, a judge ordered her to stand trial.

Labelle says the expenses were incurred during her time as the Queen's representative and should be subject to sovereign immunity.

Thibault was not present as her lawyer appeared briefly before Justice Richard Grenier on Friday and afterwards told reporters he'll spend the next two months doing more research.

Labelle says he hasn't found any Canadian precedent where a representative of the Queen invoked this privilege for criminal charges.

The motion will be heard in Quebec Superior Court on Aug. 23.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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