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Lawyer for Quebec Liberals stops disclosure of two names at corruption probe

A sign points to the Charbonneau commission, a public inquiry into corruption within Quebec's construction industry, in Montreal September 17, 2012. The inquiry resumed on Monday after a three-month break.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters

Proceedings at the Charbonneau inquiry were dramatically suspended Tuesday afternoon after a lawyer for the Liberal Party of Quebec stopped the disclosure of two names on a list of people who met construction bosses at an exclusive Old Montreal club.

Inquiry counsel Denis Gallant had told the proceedings that police had been checking the computerized logs of the Club 357c, where meetings were taking place between contractors, representatives from consulting engineering firms and "elected officials."

A provincial police investigator, Erick Roy, testifed that one either had to be a member or be invited by a member to enter the club, owned by animation software tycoon Daniel Langlois.

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The police was interested in two members, Paolo Catania, of Construction F. Catania, and Joe Borsellino, of Construction Garnier, two entrepreneurs whose activities have been targeted by the inquiry into corruption in public-works contracts.

Elio Pagliarulo, a former friend of Mr. Catania, previously testified that he delivered cash envelopes to a private club.

The inquiry was shown the first page of a 10-page list of visitors to the club.

The page listed names connected to the party of former Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay: his fundraiser, Bernard Trépanier, his chief of staff, Martial Fillion and his right-hand man, Frank Zampino.

However, Michel Décary, a lawyer for the provincial Liberals, asked for a publication ban on two names in the document, saying that the two people hadn't been notified that they were in the document.

Visible unhappy about Mr. Décary's intervention, Madam Justice France Charbonneau asked why he was making the request in the afternoon when he had been given the names hours earlier.

Judge Charbonneau eventually agreed to keep the names confidential until Wednesday so Mr.Décary has the chance to confer with them.

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About the Author
National reporter

Tu Thanh Ha is based in Toronto and writes frequently about judicial, political and security issues. He spent 12 years as a correspondent for the Globe and Mail in Montreal, reporting on Quebec politics, organized crime, terror suspects, space flights and native issues. More

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