Vito Rizzuto called to testify at Quebec's corruption inquiry

Vito Rizzuto. (PABLO DURANT/QMI Agency)

Vito Rizzuto. (PABLO DURANT/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

Vito Rizzuto, the former head of one of Montreal's main mafia families, has been subpoenaed to appear before Quebec's public inquiry on corruption in the construction industry.

Quebec police stopped the former don - who was wearing a bullet-proof vest - on the street earlier this week, QMI Agency has learned. Police questioned Rizzuto about recent gang-style murders in the Montreal area and a bailiff handed Rizzuto the summons, according to sources.

It was the first time since his return from a prison stint in the U.S. that members of a Quebec police force saw Rizzuto.

His appearance before the construction inquiry will be highly anticipated. His name has surfaced many times during the testimony of several witnesses.

Former Quebec construction entrepreneur, Lino Zambito, testified that 2.5% of the value of the excavation contracts he received from the city of Montreal went directly to the Rizzuto crime family. A retired city engineer also testified that he went on a golfing trip with the former don and helped him get regular access to City Hall.

A leading mafia figure being forced to testify at a Quebec inquiry is not a novel occurrence. In the mid 70s, mafia heads Paolo Violi and Vic Controni were forced to testify. They both refused and as a consequence, were jailed for a year.

Earlier this week, a former associate of Rizzuto's, Raynald Desjardins, who is awaiting trial for murder, was also told by the presiding judge of the commission that he had to testify.


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