Former Quebec viceroy demands fraud charges be dropped

Lise Thibault. (STEVENS LEBLANC/QMI Agency)

Lise Thibault. (STEVENS LEBLANC/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

QUEBEC CITY — Quebec's former lieutenant governor says that as the Queen's representative she "can do no wrong" and wants the Supreme Court of Canada to quash her upcoming fraud trial.

Lise Thibault claims she's above the law and can't be charged for allegedly bilking taxpayers of $700,000.

She has asked the high court to overturn a December ruling by the Quebec Court of Appeal, which rejected Thibault's argument that: "The Queen can do no wrong."

The royal prerogative is a collection of rights held by the Queen or her designates — the governor general and lieutenant-governors — that can technically override Canadian law. The prerogative rests upon the principle that the Crown cannot prosecute itself.

Thibault is accused of using her government allowance as her personal spending account from 1997 to 2007.

More than $1.7 million was paid out to the former Quebec viceroy — about $1 million for official duties and the rest for expenses already covered by the Quebec government or for activities not related to official duties, an audit found.

On some of Thibault's travel claims, the only agenda item listed was golfing or skiing.

Among the receipts that raised eyebrows are those for a $59,000 garden party, a $30,000 Christmas party and bills for three different meals that were had simultaneously at three different restaurants.

Thibault says she considered herself to be on the job 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

She's charged with defrauding the Canadian and Quebec governments as well as breach of trust and of making and using false documents.

 


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