Québec police are investigating how private telephone conversations from 2007 about federal government appointments to the the Montreal Port Corp. found their way onto YouTube, triggering election campaign allegations of influence peddling last spring.
The RCMP is also reviewing the purported telephone conversations between Quebec businessmen Tony Accurso and Bernard Poulin for possible evidence of influence peddling, according to a confidential source familiar with the two separate police investigations.
Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe revealed the existence of the tapes on YouTube last April and the police probes started soon after.
Duceppe alleged that Accurso and Poulin were heard discussing offering an unspecified reward if the Conservative government and Dimitri Soudas, then a senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, would help Montreal executive Robert Abdallah secure an appointment as chief executive of the Montreal Port Corp.
Harper told reporters the allegations were false.
Ultimately, Abdallah was never appointed to the federal job.
Soudas denied any political interference and left Harper's office after the federal election.
Police have confirmed they are investigating where the phone recordings actually came from and how they found their way onto the YouTube website.
Another source said that in 2007, Liberals and Conservatives were bitterly feuding over which party's top organizers and supporters would get to name the new chief executive of the Montreal Port at a time the Tories were leading a minority government in Parliament.