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Former Montreal mayor appears in court in first public appearance since arrest

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum gets into a car outside police headquarters in Montreal, Monday, June 17, 2013. Applebaum was arrested earlier as part of a bribery case.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former Mayor Michael Applebaum left Montreal's courthouse without speaking to reporters Thursday after making his first public appearance since his arrest and resignation last year.

Mr. Applebaum stepped down in June following his arrest on 14 criminal charges including conspiracy, corruption and breach of trust. He maintained his innocence and vowed to clear his name.

Mr. Applebaum's court hearing Thursday morning was delayed because lawyers for his two co-accused, Saulie Zajdel and Jean-Yves Bisson, were not present in court.

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Mr. Applebaum was represented by noted Montreal defence lawyer Jean-Claude Hébert.

Mr. Applebaum had been interim mayor for only seven months when he was forced to resign last year, the second mayor to leave under a cloud in less than a year. His predecessor, Gérald Tremblay, stepped down amid disclosures over illegal fundraising practices.

The charges against Mr. Applebaum are in connection with two real-estate transactions dating to when he was mayor of a west-end borough of Montreal.

Mr. Applebaum's arrest and resignation came during a tumultuous period in Montreal marked by a wave of revelations related to municipal corruptions.

The former mayor and the two others return to court Mar. 10.

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About the Author

Ingrid Peritz has been a Montreal-based correspondent for The Globe and Mail since 1998. Her reporting on the plight of Canadians suffering from the damaging effects of the drug thalidomide helped victims obtain federal compensation and earned The Globe and Mail a National Newspaper Award, Canadian Journalism Foundation award, and the Michener Award for public service. More

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