Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Lawsuit of the Bettez family against the SQ: a closed session decided on the spot ce

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Jonathan Bettez and his parents are suing the Sûreté du Québec and the Attorney General of Quebec for $10 million.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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In a highly anticipated decision during the civil trial brought by the Bettez family against the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) for having associated Jonathan Bettez with the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher, Judge Gregory Moore decided that the Court will determine the exhibit the elements of the file which will be subject to a publication ban.

According to the judge who heard the arguments of the parties involved in this civil suit on Monday, the Attorney General of Quebec has not demonstrated that the publicity of the proceedings poses a serious risk to the public interest.

Considering the imperatives linked to the publication of sensitive information contained in the police investigation files, the magistrate decided to proceed piecemeal, that is to say to formulate a solution on measure for each of the objections that will be raised in order to ensure that the trial will not take place behind closed doors.

In the context of this lawsuit, the Bettez family is demanding $10 million from the SQ and the attorney general for having, according to them, ruined their reputation by associating Jonathan Bettez for years with the murder of Cédrika Provencher.

The publication of the contents of the police investigation file into the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher is at the heart of the trial.

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While the SQ was categorically opposed to the publication of the evidence since no suspect has yet been arrested and convicted, the family believed that it was essential to exonerate Jonathan Bettez once and for all.

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The lawyer for the Bettez family, Me Jessy Héroux, criticizes the Sûreté du Québec for knowingly ignoring evidence which exonerates his client. (Archive photo)

These are documents that are important to us because they will allow us to establish that there is no There is no tangible evidence that connects Jonathan to the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher, explained Monday the lawyer for the Bettez family, Me Jessy Héroux.

According to the lawyer, these documents demonstrate that the SQ knowingly ignored elements that could exonerate Joanathan Bettez and the relentlessness shown by the investigators with regard to their alleged suspect and his family.

Although he is still considered by the SQ as the main suspect in the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher, Jonathan Bettez has never been charged with anything in connection with the highly publicized disappearance of the then 9-year-old .

The little girl disappeared on July 31, 2007, in Trois-Rivières. All that was found was his bicycle, leaning on a fire hydrant. The remains of the little girl were found in December 2015 in a wooded area located along Highway 40, in Saint-Maurice.

For more than 16 years, investigators have been searching for the person who kidnapped and killed Cédrika Provencher.

According to the SQ, Jonathan Bettez, who at the time was driving a car similar to the one described by witnesses near the scene of the disappearance, did not want to collaborate with investigators by refusing in particular to submit to the test. of the polygraph. He was also in Trois-Rivières at the time of the events, according to the police, who claim to have never obtained the evidence to exclude Jonathan Bettez from the list of suspects.

During this civil suit filed four years ago, Jonathan Bettez and his parents, who are seeking $10 million, intend to demonstrate that investigators erred and that they made Jonathan Bettez a convenient suspect. The family accuses them of having done everything to make the population believe that Jonathan Bettez was a pedophile and a murderer.

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Jonathan Bettez, notably accompanied by his mother, pursues the Sûreté du Quebec and the Attorney General of Quebec for $10 million.

The other aspect contested by the Bettez family concerned requests filed by Sûreté du Québec lawyers for the trial not to be fully made public.

We are asking for closed doors, we are asking for separate procedures, we are asking for publication bans, underlined Monday Me Héroux who demands, like his clients, that everything be public in order to allow the public to be able to make up your own mind.

Jonathan Bettez must testify at trial.

The Attorney General and the Sûreté du Québec opposed the publication of the information and evidence collected during the investigation, explaining that the author of the kidnapping and murder is still at large and that the publication of these sensitive information could benefit him. Jonathan Bettez having not yet been excluded from the list of suspects, the police did not want to give him this advantage either.

Jonathan Bettez, who was never charged in connection with the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher, was arrested by the SQ in August 2016, the same day the girl would have turned 19, to face charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. He was subsequently acquitted of all 10 charges against him.

The police team also carried out searches at Emballages Bettez, his parents' company.

In October 2018, judge Jacques Lacoursière severely criticized the work of SQ investigators in this case. He described their actions as a fishing operation. The police actions were, according to him, abusive and the warrants invalid, he concluded.

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