(Quebec) Former Premier Jean Charest is claiming more than $715,000 from the Quebec government in the case of information leaks at the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC) of which he was the victim.

This motion by his lawyers, which was filed earlier this week in Superior Court, follows the Superior Court’s judgment which awarded him $385,000 in the same case in early April.

If he wins all the way, he will therefore get almost a little over 1.1 million.

To justify their request, Mr. Charest’s lawyers claim that the Attorney General of Quebec used delaying tactics and abuse of process, in particular by delaying the delivery of documents.

“The Prosecutor abused the process in that the essence of his system of defense was false, manifestly ill-founded and dilatory”, can be read in the originating application.

The Prosecutor would thus have shown “vexatious behavior towards the applicant and showed inexplicable relentlessness against him”.

Mr. Charest seeks over $200,000 in punitive damages. He is also demanding $512,000 to pay his lawyers’ fees, as well as $5,000 in moral damages.

The amount thus totals $717,000.

Recall that in his decision handed down in early April, Judge Gregory Moore ordered the Quebec state to pay $385,000 to Mr. Charest for illegally disclosing personal information.

The former prime minister was indeed suing the Quebec state after details of the Mâchurer investigation — about the funding of the Liberal Party of Quebec — from UPAC leaked to the media in 2017.

But in his decision, Judge Moore also authorized the plaintiff to file an additional claim for abuse of process to obtain additional compensation, hence the claim filed this week.

Let’s remember the facts. In April 2014, the UPAC undertook the Mâchurer investigation into the sectoral financing led by the Liberal Party of Quebec when it was led by Mr. Charest.

Three years later, in 2017, the Journal de Montréal published documents held by UPAC.

They reveal in particular that Mr. Charest was under police surveillance and that the UPAC sought to obtain his communications with Marc Bibeau, presented as the great fundraiser of the PLQ at the time when Mr. Charest led it.

UPAC also wanted to know the whereabouts of the two men at the borders. In these documents, UPAC said it was investigating corruption and breach of trust, two criminal offenses.

Personal information about Mr. Charest was also passed on to the Journal de Montréal.

The Commissioner of UPAC confirmed that a member of his organization was responsible for the leak and that an administrative investigation was launched to determine the origin. The Attorney General of Quebec has confirmed that a member of UPAC is behind the leak, recall the lawyers of Mr. Charest.

Given the seriousness of the matter, the Ministry of Public Security in 2018 asked the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) to shed light on the leaks.

He noted a total of 37 leaks to the media between 2012 and 2018. But later, the BEI investigator revised the number of leaks upwards to 54.

Mr. Charest was not charged in the Machûrer investigation, where he was listed as a “person of interest,” but he felt the disclosure of information tarnished his reputation.

Judge Moore therefore agreed with him by awarding him $385,000.