May 1, 2015 4:44 pm
Updated: May 1, 2015 6:38 pm

Lise Thibault’s attorney argues for light sentence


Above watch: As Caroline Plante reports, although 76-year-old Lie Thibault faces up to 19 years in prison, her lawyers are hoping for a lighter sentence.

QUEBEC CITY — Former Quebec lieutenant governor Lise Thibault was back in court Friday for her sentencing arguments.

The 76-year-old changed her plea last December and pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud and breach of trust.

She faces a maximum sentence of 19 years in jail.

Thibault recognized she claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unjustified expenses during her 10 years in office. The money was spent on gifts, trips, parties, meals, skiing and golf lessons.

The Crown and defense lawyers have been trying to agree on a reasonable sentence for Thibault.

But on Friday, Judge Carol St-Cyr was informed the lawyers did not come to an agreement.

The defense team called Thibault’s partner to the stand.

Sixty-five-year-old Réal Cloutier introduced himself as Thibault’s chauffeur, bodyguard, cook, gardener and pool cleaner.

He also said he was her best friend.

Former Quebec lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault, who has pleaded guilty to fraud, heads to court in Quebec City on Friday, May 1, 2015 for sentencing arguments.

Caroline Plante/Global News

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Cloutier argued some of the expenses were not Thibault’s pointing to discrepancies in the books.

The Crown however objected to Cloutier giving his opinion and argued he never trained as an accountant.

Thibault’s lawyer, Marc Labelle, said his client is not in the best of shape; she cried when Cloutier talked about the isolation and stigma.

Already in December, Labelle said he was hoping for a light sentence.

“Physically speaking she is not the best, but mentally she is at the same time relieved the trial is over,” he said.

Thibault is offering to pay back $372,000 and serve time in the community; while prosecutors are asking for $430,000 and time in jail.

Thibault will be back in court May 21.

After seven long years of legal procedures, she should receive her sentence sometime in the next few months.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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