Charbonneau whistleblower alleges UPAC didn’t investigate Quebec Liberals

Click to play video: 'Lino Zambito strikes again' Lino Zambito strikes again
WATCH ABOVE: The star witness at the Charbonneau Commission in 2012 has published a book, making more alarming allegations about corruption in government ranks. Raquel Fletcher explains – Nov 10, 2016

Lino Zambito, a main witness in the Charbonneau Commission in 2012, has published a new book containing alarming allegations.

The former construction boss testified to the commission that companies paid kickbacks to municipal politicians and the mafia for public contracts. Zambito now claims the province’s corruption watchdog sat on important evidence.

READ MORE: Petition launched calling for public inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s IT industry

“The Charbonneau inquiry didn’t bring some people in to witness which was a part of…a lot of the financing of the Liberal Party of Quebec,” Zambito said.

In his book, Le Temoin, Zambito alleges then-premier Jean Charest’s office routinely communicated with the head of UPAC, and so the anti-corruption police turned a blind eye on activities of top Liberal fundraiser, Marc Bibeau.

“Marc Bibeau told me that when it’s time to nominate ministers in the (premier’s) offices he’s involved directly,” said Zambito. “He’s the one who’s raising money and he has an influence on the people that are going to run the province.”

Story continues below advertisement
WATCH: In this extended interview, Lino Zambito describes his experience at the Charbonneau Commission, what he would like to see going forward 
Click to play video: 'Lino Zambito describes his experience at the Charbonneau Commission' Lino Zambito describes his experience at the Charbonneau Commission
Lino Zambito describes his experience at the Charbonneau Commission – Nov 10, 2016

After testifying at the Charbonneau Commission, Zambito pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption charges and was sentenced to community service, but he denies he’s out to settle a score: “I’m doing my sentence right now. It’s not revenge.”

Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisée said Zambito’s claims offer one more instance of the Liberals and police colluding.

“We have another layer of allegations about shenanigans between the Liberal government and the police,” said Lisée.

Zambito wants greater independence of police in the province, and opposition parties agree.

“We propose that UPAC will be completely independent and that its commissioner be appointed by two thirds of the (National) Assembly,” said Lisée.

READ MORE: PQ leadership candidate says he will implement Charbonneau recomendations

The CAQ wants the Liberals to be forced to open their books. They’re calling on the premier to order an independent audit of his party’s finances.

Story continues below advertisement

“If Mr. Couillard really wants to make a difference from Jean Charest, he has to do a clean-up,” said Francois Legault, leader of the CAQ.

During Thursday’s Question Period, Premier Couillard denied that anyone in his cabinet has ever discussed the nature of investigations with any police force.

Liberal MNA Robert Poeti said he’s not dismissing the allegations.

“We’re going to follow the case and I’m going to read the book and talk to you later,” he said Thursday morning. Poeti added he has full confidence in UPAC.

Sponsored content