Four officers with the Montreal police have been charged in connection with a years-long investigation by Quebec’s joint investigation team into the force’s department of internal affairs.
The investigation into the force was launched in February 2017 by Quebec’s public security minister after allegations of corruption relating to the fabrication of evidence within the SPVM were brought to light.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) was initially tasked with looking into the matter, but a joint investigation team was created after provincial police were made aware of several other cases of alleged criminal activity within the force.
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Co-managed by the SQ and the province’s independent police watchdog (BEI), the team was composed of members from several police forces, including the SQ, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as the police forces of Quebec City, Longueuil and Gatineau.
At its peak, the team had 43 police and civilian members work on the investigation.
The SQ said in a statement Friday that the goal of the investigation was to verify the merits of criminal allegations concerning any member whose investigation fell within the force’s internal affairs department. The team was tasked with determining whether the proper investigative procedures — if any — had been properly carried out during the past.
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Since it was launched almost three years ago, the SQ says the joint investigation team combed through 1,020 files to determine whether there were any criminal elements.
According to the SQ, along with the files to be reviewed, the team received a total of 136 reports related to its mandate and initiated 252 cases following information, intelligence or reports.
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Those investigations led to four officers being charged.
The SQ, however, did not specify the nature of those charges and said it would not be providing additional comments given that Quebec’s Crown prosecutor had already rendered decisions in all the cases that were submitted.
The Crown prosecutor’s office also refused to comment, citing some of the cases were before the courts.
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