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Bernard Trépanier, key figure in Quebec corruption inquiry, dead at 79

Bernard Trépanier was infamously nicknamed ``Mr. Three Per Cent'' by witnesses at the inquiry because of kickbacks he allegedly sought when he worked for former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay's party.
Bernard Trépanier was infamously nicknamed ``Mr. Three Per Cent'' by witnesses at the inquiry because of kickbacks he allegedly sought when he worked for former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay's party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

A former political fundraiser in Montreal who became a central figure during Quebec’s public inquiry into corruption in the construction sector has died at the age of 79.

Bernard Trépanier was infamously nicknamed “Mr. Three Per Cent” by witnesses at the inquiry because of kickbacks he allegedly sought when he worked for former Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay’s party.

READ MORE: Charges dropped against ex-Montreal fundraiser, ‘Mr. Three Per Cent’

His lawyer, Daniel Rock, confirmed his client died this morning in his home in Lachute, about 80 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

Trépanier was arrested in May 2012 and charged with a number of crimes including fraud, fraud against the government and breach of trust in connection with a Montreal land deal.

He was arrested again in September 2017 and charged with similar crimes tied to an alleged scheme to award contracts to companies that paid kickbacks to politicians.

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The Crown dropped all the charges against him in June after it became clear he was too ill to stand trial.

Rock says his client always denied the accusations against him.