MONTREAL - The Quebec government says Montreal's mayor has its full support after city hall was raided by the province's anti-corruption police squad.

The cabinet minister responsible for Montreal told reporters today that everyone involved should be presumed innocent, since charges have not been laid.

Jean-Francois Lisee says justice must be allowed to run its course.

The anti-corruption unit carried out numerous raids yesterday at Montreal's city hall and several other searches in different borough offices.

A news report said the new mayor, Michael Applebaum, and the man he recently replaced, Gerald Tremblay, were both among 25 people questioned by police.

Applebaum later told reporters that he was merely helping police as a participant in the investigation — and was not a target.

One media report said the raids were related to the campaign financing of Union Montreal — the long-ruling, now-crumbling municipal party Applebaum recently abandoned.

The provincial government's muted support for Applebaum stands in contrast with the stern posture it struck last fall with Tremblay. As scandals swirled around him, the government urged him to reflect on his political future.

Tremblay promptly resigned.

He was accused, during testimony at a public inquiry, of being aware of illegal financing of Union Montreal and ignoring it. Tremblay denied the allegation. Since then, the inquiry witness who made the claim has had other parts of his testimony attacked.

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  • Quebec's corruption inquiry has heard an exhaustive history of the Italian Mafia -- how it was created, how it got into the construction business, and how pervasive it is. One witness, Italian-born criminology PhD Valentina Tenti, shared a document recovered by Italian police that purports to hold the "Ten Commandments" of the Sicilian Mafia, known the "Cosa Nostra" (Our Thing). <em>With files from The Canadian Press</em>

  • 10. No Easy Meetings

    No one can present himself directly to one of our friends ("amico nostro"). There must be a third party to do it.

  • 9. Never Look At The Wives Of Friends.

  • 8. Never Be Seen With Cops

  • 7. Don't Go To Pubs And Clubs

  • 6. Stay Available ALWAYS

    Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty -- even if your wife is about to give birth.

  • 5. Appointments Must Absolutely Be Respected.

  • 4. Wives Must Be Treated With Respect

  • 3. Be Truthful

    When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.

  • 2. Respect The Cash

    Money cannot be taken if it belongs to others or to other families.

  • 1. Keep It Exclusive

    People who can't be part of Cosa Nostra: Anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a traitor for a relative, anyone who behaves badly and doesn't hold to moral values.