Statement regarding Bulger and Boudreau court cases20 November 2017
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Public Prosecutions Services regarding the Bulger and Boudreau court cases:
Criminal charges were laid against Bathurst police constables Matthieu Boudreau and Patrick Bulger for manslaughter by means of an unlawful act, assault with a weapon, and pointing a firearm in relation to the death of Michel Vienneau on Jan. 12, 2015.
A preliminary hearing relating to these charges was held before a judge of the provincial court. The purpose of such a hearing is to determine if there is sufficient evidence on each of the elements of the offences to commit an accused person to trial. On Feb. 24, 2017, the judge determined that the Crown did not meet the threshold for committal to trial.
Public Prosecution Services sought a judicial review of that decision in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The purpose of a judicial review of this nature is to determine if the preliminary hearing judge made any errors of jurisdiction in her decision not to commit the accused to trial. On Oct. 20, 2017, a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench concluded that no errors of jurisdiction were committed by the preliminary hearing judge.
Public Prosecution Services’ decisions to proceed with criminal matters are based on the dual considerations of whether sufficient evidence exists to demonstrate that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether it is in the public interest to prosecute. The decisions of Public Prosecution Services decisions are guided by our Public Prosecution Operational Manual.
In any prosecution, it is the obligation of the prosecutor to reassess the prospect of conviction as a file moves through the prosecution process. A file that initially met the test for prosecution may not continue to meet the test for prosecution as the matter progresses.
After a careful review of the decision on judicial review, a reassessment of the threshold test for prosecution was conducted. Based on operational policies and having regard to the Provincial Court decision and the Court of Queen’s Bench decision in this case, Public Prosecution Services will not seek an appeal of the Court of Queen’s Bench decision.
Public Prosecution Services are independent in their role and therefore do not act on direction from government in the discharge of their responsibilities.