POLITICS

Preliminary inquiry in September for wife of ex-spy watchdog Arthur Porter

07/03/2013 01:51 EDT | Updated 09/02/2013 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - The wife of Canada's former espionage watchdog will have a preliminary inquiry in September.

Lawyers for Pamela Porter and the Crown agreed to set aside five days, starting Sept. 16, when the prosecution will lay out its case.

The inquiry will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to send Pamela Porter to trial. She faces one charge of conspiracy as well as another related to laundering more than $22 million.

She is accused of helping to launder the money for her husband, the former head of the McGill University Health Centre. He was also head of the federal Security Intelligence Review Committee, the civilian oversight body that monitors CSIS.

Arthur Porter faces several charges related to alleged scams in the awarding of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital contract.

His wife has been detained since they were both arrested by authorities in Panama on May 26.

Prosecutors say she is the only person among the 106 arrested so far by Quebec's anti-corruption unit to have not been granted bail while awaiting trial.

Crown prosecutor Marie-Helene Giroux says she's still waiting to see if Pamela Porter's lawyer will challenge the bail ruling in Superior Court.

Giroux says her case is separate from the others in the superhospital deal, so she'll be able to get a trial faster.

The Porters were arrested separately in Panama on an Interpol warrant. She agreed to return to Canada to face charges while her husband remains in a Panamanian prison while he fights his extradition to Canada.

Giroux says there is nothing new to report on Arthur Porter's extradition.