POLITICS

Bail decision Tuesday for wife of ex-spy watchdog boss Arthur Porter

06/20/2013 01:51 EDT | Updated 08/20/2013 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - The wife of Canada's former spy watchdog will spend at least one more weekend in detention while a judge considers whether to grant her bail.

Lawyers representing Arthur Porter's wife, Pamela, argued for her freedom Thursday during a bail hearing in Montreal.

Quebec court Judge Robert Marchi heard arguments and decided to deliver a decision on Tuesday morning, after Quebec's holiday long weekend.

Pamela Porter, 52, is accused of helping her husband, the former head of Security Intelligence Review Committee and of the McGill University Health Centre, launder millions of dollars.

She has been detained since being arrested by authorities in Panama on May 26th. She has remained behind bars since being returned to Canada.

The evidence presented was subject to a publication ban. Porter herself took the stand as did two police officers with Quebec's anti-corruption squad UPAC who testified on behalf of the Crown.

Prosecutors have opposed bail because they believe she is a flight risk.

"We have our view that she does constitute a flight risk and freeing her would impact on the confidence of the public on the administration of justice," said Crown lawyer Marie-Helene Giroux.

This is the first time out of 106 arrests made by UPAC where the prosecution is asking an accused remain detained. Others have been granted bail, often on strict conditions and sometimes with hefty monetary deposits.

"I believe each co-accused has their own case and different and various factors that are different from this case," Giroux said.

Pamela Porter's lawyer, Jean-Claude Hebert, declined comment.

Porter faces one charge of conspiracy as well as another related to laundering more than $22 million.

The Porters were arrested separately last month in Panama on an Interpol warrant. Pamela Porter agreed to return to Canada to face charges.

Arthur Porter remains in a Panamanian prison and is fighting his extradition to Canada on the grounds his arrest was illegal because he has diplomatic immunity.

The former head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee faces several charges related to alleged scams in the awarding of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital contract.

He says he's done nothing wrong.