An individual whom several police forces suspect of being, at least in part, behind the wave of arson attacks that hit restaurants, bars and cafes in Laval and Montreal is contesting his transfer to a maximum security penitentiary.

Youness Aithaqi, 33, nicknamed Fréro, has been serving a life sentence since February 2020, without eligibility for parole for 25 years, for murder.

Last year, Aithaqi, who was serving his sentence at the Donnacona maximum-security penitentiary, was transferred to the Drummondville medium-security penitentiary, before being rushed back to Donnacona in January, after the Sûreté du Québec ( SQ) sent documents to Correctional Service Canada (CSC).

“We have received information from the Sûreté du Québec regarding your involvement in a criminal group in the Montreal area. According to police information, you are at the head of this group which happens to be responsible for several arson attacks against merchants. Also, this group would be active in extortion. The Sûreté du Québec adds that you would be directly linked to several murder plots targeting organized crime figures. They would also have information that you would be involved in a plot to compromise the life of a person outside the penitentiary. […] In addition, according to the Department of Preventive Security, you are involved in an institutional trafficking network that makes contraband entries via drone,” reads a habeas corpus petition filed by the attorney for Aithaqi, Me Alexandra Paquette, in Superior Court, at the Quebec City courthouse.

According to our information, the police suspect him of having ordered arson against merchants for which the Service de police de Laval, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal and the SQ have announced an offensive and asked for help. population last week.

Aithaqi’s name has also been floated in the investigation into the attempted extortion of businessman Tony Accurso, sources say, but the convict is not currently charged with any of the crimes.

Me Paquette claims that his client’s transfer from a medium security penitentiary to a maximum security institution and the increase in his security classification are unjustified, that nothing is known about the reliability of the CSC sources at the origin allegations against Aithaqi and that these are vague.

The criminal lawyer adds that searches carried out in his client’s cell yielded nothing and that he denies any involvement in contraband trafficking by drone at Drummond Institution.

Me Paquette is asking the Superior Court to grant his motion, order Donnacona Institution to take his client to court to determine the legality of his detention and order CSC to transfer Aithaqi to a secure facility. mean.

The case has been postponed until next week.