The Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, Me Annick murphy, was explained last Thursday in parliamentary committee, in Quebec, about an error of his organization which caused the abandonment of the procedures in a file of sexual assault.
The assault allegedly occurred in 2018, aboard a Paris-Montreal flight, according to La Presse. A 15-year-old French national claims to have been touched by his seat neighbor. Jean-Marie Aloise Hoch, a 39-year-old Frenchman, was arrested as he got off the plane in Montreal.
The DPCP, however, omitted a mandatory step in the event that a foreigner is suspected of having committed a crime on a plane: the prosecutor did not notify Ottawa before accusing the man – which made any prosecution impossible.
The DPCP attempted to lay new charges, after getting the green light from Ottawa, but they were seen as an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
The member of the Parti Québécois Véronique Hivon asked Me Murphy on this subject, as part of the study of government appropriations to the National Assembly.
She stressed that this kind of situation was exceptional, and that the prosecutor in the file was not aware of this authorization which was necessary.
“He was extremely shaken by this situation. He is an experienced prosecutor who files sexual assault, who is completely devoted to this work, ”said Murphy, again according to La Presse.
According to the teenager’s father, who confided in columnist Patrick Lagacé, Me Murphy lacked empathy. He would have liked to receive a formal apology from the DPCP.