Gilbert Fournier - AMF Investigators' Powers Confirmed

Montréal - On December 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Gilbert Fournier's application for leave to appeal his conviction for having hindered the work of an investigator of the Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF).

In June 2012, a Court of Appeal decision confirmed the guilty verdict against Gilbert Fournier who, by refusing on the advice of his lawyer to answer questions an AMF investigator asked him during an in camera examination, hindered the work of an inspector. The Court of Appeal decision quashed a Superior Court judgment rendered in June 2010 and a Court of Québec judgment rendered in October 2009.

The Court of Appeal clarified certain investigatory powers and helped define the role of a lawyer who assists a witness compelled to answer questions by an AMF investigator. Although a witness who is summoned can be assisted by a lawyer, he cannot object to the investigator's questions other than under exceptional circumstances. The questions asked must be related to the subject of the AMF's investigation but their relevance cannot be questioned at every opportunity.

Gilbert Fournier was thus recently ordered by the Court of Québec to pay a $1,000 fine for having hindered the work of an investigator, which is an offence under the Securities Act.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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