POLITICS

Case of ex-cop accused of selling information to bikers delayed until November

10/17/2013 12:30 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
MONTREAL - Another day in court has brought yet another lawyer for a retired Montreal police investigator charged with gangsterism for allegedly selling secrets to the Hells Angels.

Benoit Roberge appeared briefly in court on Thursday where a new defence lawyer took over the file — the accused's fourth attorney in his four court appearances.

Roberge will now be represented by Joelle Roy, who asked for the case to be off until Nov. 8.

Roberge, 50, is facing four charges: one of obstructing justice, one of breach of trust and two related to gangsterism.

Lawyers are expected to discuss the case further and the Crown still has to disclose evidence to Roy.

Roberge is required to be present for the next date, when lawyers might have a better idea if or when the ex-officer will apply for bail.

The veteran police officer, who spent the latter part of his career assigned to a specialized anti-biker gang unit, retired this past August.

He had secured a job with the province's tax-collection agency, but was fired after his arrest.

He was once the Montreal police force's leading expert on biker gangs, having investigated their activity and testified at trials to put them away.

Now, Roberge is accused of selling sensitive police information in exchange for cash from biker gang members.

According to the charges filed by the Crown, the alleged offences stem from acts committed in Roberge's final years as a police officer —between 2010 and just recently.

Roberge's arrest came as a complete surprise to his colleagues at the Montreal police. Police brass weren't even informed of a provincial police investigation until after the arrest.

Complicating the case has been Roberge's status as a seasoned, senior investigator who testified frequently in court. In addition to this, his wife was a Montreal-based Crown prosecutor specialized in organized crime.

As such, the two prosecutors overseeing the case against Roberge are from Quebec City.

"We want to make sure for transparency, there is no contact for people involved in the file," said Jean-Pascal Boucher, a Crown spokesman.