Police have violated suspect’s right to a lawyer, Supreme Court rules

OTTAWA – Canada’s Supreme Court says police violated a Quebec man’s constitutional right by undermining his lawyer’s advice.

The unanimous decision comes today in the case of Patrick Dussault, who was arrested in 2013 for murder and arson in Gatineau, Que.

Dussault spoke to a lawyer by phone who offered to come to the police station to continue the deliberations and told his client not to speak to anyone in the meantime.

The lawyer showed up, but the police did not allow him to see Dussault.

Dussault pleaded guilty to the arson charge, but during his murder trial, he failed to have an incriminating statement he made to police barred from evidence because he was denied his charter-protected right to a lawyer.

Dussault was convicted of murder, but the Quebec Court of Appeals allowed his appeal, overturned the guilty plea and ordered a new trial.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 29, 2022.

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