NEWS

MNA's daughter pleads not guilty on protest-linked charges

06/08/2012 07:01 EDT | Updated 08/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Yalda Machouf-Khadir, the daughter of National Assembly member Amir Khadir, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of conspiracy, mischief and assault against a police officer.

On Thursday, Montreal police entered seven homes and arrested five people in connection with damage done to former Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp's office on April 13. Machouf-Khadir, 19, was arrested.

The four other people face a multitude of charges, including mischief, breaking and entering and inciting fear of terrorism.

Machouf-Khadir will be detained along with the four other protestors over the weekend.

Denis Poitras, the lawyer representing Machouf-Khadir and four other people in the case, doubts the timing of the arrest is any coincidence.

"I think it sends a message to people who want to protest during the Montreal Grand Prix," said Poitrais. "We understand there are a lot of people who seem to care more for the financial well-being of establishments."

Veronique Robert, the lawyer representing Andrea Pilote, a young woman who was also charged on Thursday, said she thought it odd that people were being held for multiple days on mischief accusations.

Four of the five accused will appear at a bail hearing on Monday.

Police refused to remove shoes

Amir Khadir told reporters in Quebec City that his wife called early Thursday morning to tell him police were at the house and their daughter had been arrested.

Police officers were asked to do the polite thing as guests and take off their shoes but they refused the request from his spouse and walked in, Khadir said.

He called his daughter Yalda a "reasonable person." If there are laws that people believe are unjust, such as Quebec's divisive emergency Bill 78, they should disobey those laws in a peaceful way, he added.

Khadir said his daughters were raised in a socially-conscious home, educated to "strive for justice, for social equality," and he's proud of his children.

But justice "must take its course" and Khadir said he's satisfied "to see that they don't treat my daughter differently from others."

"It's not because I'm a member of the national assembly that she should be protected in any means or any ways."

Machouf-Khadir was among a group of 21 people arrested in May for blocking Montreal's Jacques Cartier Bridge during a protest opposing Power Corp. They were charged with mischief, conspiracy and obstructing police

It was unclear what charges she may face.

Her arrest came just two days after Khadir was himself arrested, and released with a fine.

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