Former Quebec premier Jean Charest files lawsuit against province over corruption allegations

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Former Quebec premier Jean Charest files lawsuit against province over corruption allegations

Former Quebec Liberal premier Jean Charest has filed a lawsuit against the Quebec government, alleging that his privacy has been violated by the province’s anti-corruption unit.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Montreal seeks $1 million in punitive damages and $50,000 in moral damages.

Charest said in a statement that confidential information about him and his family has been leaked to the media.

Charest blamed the leaks on the anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC, which has an ongoing investigation into provincial Liberal Party financing while he was premier, from 2003 to 2012.

“These leaks are illegal and, moreover, constitute an obstacle to justice,” he said.

The former premier said that he was prepared to forgo legal action in exchange for an apology from the government, but that his offer was refused.

Earlier this year, Charest accused UPAC of a “fishing expedition” after he announced he would not run for the federal Conservative leadership.

After Charest stepped down in 2012, a public inquiry heard evidence that during his time as premier, the provincial Liberals benefited from millions in illegal donations.

The anti-corruption unit, which Charest’s government created, subsequently opened an investigation into Liberal fundraising practices.

Charest said he will not comment further as the matter is now before the courts.

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