|Members of Hells Angels Quebec. (QMI Agency File Photo)
MONTREAL — More details are emerging about biker brutality, including an allegation Hells Angels paid a $25,000 assassination fee for every murdered rival.
The Crown plans to use the bounty price as evidence this fall during the first of five scheduled megatrials for 100 reputed bikers and associates charged in 22 murders.
QMI Agency can report on the Crown's strategy this week after Judge Martin Vauclair partially lifted a publication ban.
In July, Crown attorney Dannie Leblanc provided the court with information about financing for what she called the Hells' "vast war chest."
Project Sharqc investigators say the Hells sought to "expand their empire" by conspiring to eliminate drug dealers who refused to buy from them.
Investigators say targets included members of the rival Rock Machine as well as independent dealers.
They were among 165 people killed between 1994 and 2001 during the war over control of lucrative drug territory in Quebec.
The Crown says Hells members poured 10% of their illicit profits into a fund used to collect "information about the enemy."
The war chest was also used to buy weapons, ammunition and vehicles in order to "facilitate the commission of murder," the Crown says.
In the spring of 1997, bikers "voted in favour of establishing a $25,000 premium paid out of the 10% to all their Hells Angels members for the murder of a Rock Machine member," Leblanc said.
She said every murder was approved by a committee.
The megatrials will take place at a high-security, custom-built courthouse in Montreal's north end.
- 156 Hells Angels members and associates arrested and charged in April 2009.
- 31 of them were released on a technicality in May 2011.
- Cases involve 22 murders.
- 20,425 jury candidates called for the first two megatrials.
- Last of five megatrials to begin in June 2015.