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Politics

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest, Marc Bibeau investigated by UPAC: report

WATCH ABOVE: Former Quebec premier Jean Charest and Liberal fundraiser Marc Bibeau were under investigation by the province's anti-corruption squad as recently as 2016. Global's Raquel Fletcher reports.

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest and Liberal fundraiser Marc Bibeau were under investigation by the province’s anti-corruption squad as recently as 2016, according to documents leaked to the Journal de Montréal.

“This information should remain confidential within a police inquiry,” said Pierre Moreau, Treasury Board President.

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“Whoever took that information and gave it to the public is committing a crime.”

READ MORE: Charbonneau whistleblower alleges UPAC didn’t investigate Quebec Liberals

The investigation, named Mâchurer, looked into 30 people, including ex-minister Line Beauchamp and former Liberal finance director Violette Trépanier, as well as the former premier’s activities.

The investigation is looking at allegations that Charest and Bibeau went around election financing rules.

Charest allegedly demanded that his ministers raise $100,000 each for the party and there are allegations that Bibeau had significant influence over who was named a cabinet minister based on how much they raised.

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Charest was premier between 2003 and 2012.

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

The report states that in January 2016, Canadian officials gave investigators a report of dozens of Canada-U.S. border crossings by Charest and Bibeau dating as far back as 2003.

In addition, information on their families and financial details were kept on record and police obtained Charest’s password information.

At the beginning of 2016, police were intending to intercept private conversations between Charest and Bibeau, but it is not clear if it actually happened.

No charges have been laid.

READ MORE: Former Quebec deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau arrested in anti-corruption sweep

The information has reignited a debate about corruption in the current government.

“The top leadership of the Liberal party needs to come clean,” argued Amir Khadir, an MNA with Québec Solidaire.

“How could illegal fundraising happen without the knowledge of those in charge?”

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The Mâchurer investigation is part of UPAC’s Project Lierre, which led to the arrests of former deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau and six others.

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