A Quebec court judge has rejected a request by the former second-in-command at Montreal city hall to scrap his second criminal trial on fraud and corruption charges.
Frank Zampino is set to go to trial this fall, alleged to have played a key role between 2002 and 2008 in the doling out of municipal contracts to engineering firms in return for political financing and other favours.
Judge Joëlle Roy refused to grant Zampino a stay of proceedings, dismissing his arguments that he is a victim of abuse of process and unreasonable delays.
In a hearing before Roy last April, the one-time chair of Montreal’s executive committee described himself as a broken man.
“I wake up every morning before 6 o’clock, and look past the curtains to see if there is a [police] car out there to arrest me,” said Zampino.
However, in a written ruling on June 14, obtained by Radio-Canada, Roy said Zampino’s rights had not been violated.
Crown not to blame for ‘constant stress’: Roy
Quebec’s Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) is not responsible for the “abundant and constant media coverage” of this case, said Roy, or the “arbitrary closure of his bank accounts” and his “constant stress.”
“All of [Zampino’s] grievances cannot constitute an abuse of process and result in a stay of proceedings,” the judge stated in her decision.
Zampino was arrested on charges related to engineering and construction contracts in September 2017, while he was in the middle of his cross-examination in another criminal trial, what became known as the Faubourg Contrecoeur affair.
He and his co-accused in that case were acquitted of all charges in May 2018.
The judge did not consider Zampino’s acquittal in that case to figure into his legal arguments for a stay of proceedings in the coming trial. Roy agreed with the DPCP that it was within its rights to lay a new set of charges.
The trial on those charges is scheduled to begin on Sept. 30.