Spy stars: the accused calls for a stay of proceedings

Spied stars  : the accused demands the discontinuation of the proceedings

Pascal Desgagnés leaving the Quebec City courthouse, after his appearance in December 2019.

Claiming to be the victim of abuse by the police, a Quebec resident who allegedly spied on dozens, if not hundreds, of stars, is asking for a stay of proceedings.

It's extremely cruel to stretch the procedures, complained Pascal Desgagnés during a recent hearing during which the evidence collected against him began to be revealed.

Desgagnés faces charges of fraudulent use of a computer, mischief with respect to computer data and identity theft, including .

The 47-year-old computer scientist claims to be a victim of the bad faith of the police, who would have isolated him, preventing him today from living in society.

Pascal Desgagnés during his visit to the Quebec City courthouse in March 2022

He therefore filed a motion for a stay of proceedings for abuse of power, hoping to prevent the holding of his trial, which should begin in November.

The man, who is defending himself, wants this motion to be dealt with quickly, but the prosecution believes that it should instead be argued during the trial since the evidence overlaps.

To convince the judge to wait, the prosecution called the main investigator in the file to testify, who lifted part of the veil on this mysterious affair.

Sergeant Detective Sébastien Boudreau explained in what context a citizen had contacted the Longueuil police.

The woman, whose identity is protected, had called a friend in 2018 since she was having difficulty logging into her various computer accounts.

A sophisticated system provided access to personal information and computer content of several personalities.

This computer-savvy friend discovered that his email address contained a parameter to forward received messages to other addresses, including a relay address.

< p class="e-p">One thing leading to another, the police linked these addresses to Desgagnés, whose Quebec home they searched in June 2018.

They seized computer equipment in which were hidden files of the alleged victims, according to the investigator.

Detective Sergeant Boudreau explained that to erase the traces, Desagnés would have used a virtual machine.

It's like computers, inside computers, illustrated the investigator.

According to his testimony, a structured classification system indicated target personalities with the terms difficult, potential, and successful.

There were text files with people's names and information such as their identifiers, home address, date of birth, and secret security questions and their answers.

In about 85 victim files, according to the policeman, it was possible to have access to thousands of photos and text messages, videos, etc.

In a deleted part of #x27;a computer, the computer autopsy would have identified 477 other files, out of as many people, having been deleted.

By exposing part of the evidence, which is complex and voluminous, the prosecution tried to convince the judge to wait at trial to decide on the question of the motion for a stay of proceedings.

Pascal Desgagnés claims in this motion, which also reveals the background of the investigation, that he was subjected to cruel and unusual treatment, in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

After being tailed on the morning of December 11, 2019, he will be arrested in front of the entrance to Revenu Québec, on rue Marly, where he provided computer services.

Pascal Desgagnés was arrested on his arrival at work, at Revenu Québec, on rue Marly, in Québec.

He claims to have been treated abusively the day of the arrest, being among other things subjected to a seven-hour interrogation, from which he claims to have emerged completely exhausted.

His request includes excerpts from the transcript of this interrogation, during which he complains that he was arrested in front of his work colleagues, after having cooperated with the police since the search 18 months earlier.

He also says he is worried about the impact his arrest will have on the health of his sick 72-year-old mother, whom he cannot talk to to explain .

During the interrogation, the investigator informs him that he is the victim of excessive media coverage of his arrest.

A police officer also filmed the arrival of Desgagnés at the Quebec police station and this video was used in a press briefing by the Longueuil police, can we read in the request.

Screenshot from the video. Pascal Desgagnés arrives at a Quebec City police station in December 2019.

Desgagnés claims that upon seeing the video of his arrest, his mother vomited repeatedly before passing out and falling to the ground, then being hospitalized.

During the interrogation, he will tell the investigator to be in a state of shock, in addition to expressing more than a hundred times his desire to exercise his right to silence, as advised by his lawyer.

He maintains that the treatment he received during his arrest and the very long 7-hour interrogation that followed were abusive.

“The police pushed the petitioner to exhaustion in a 7-hour marathon of interrogation, despite his clearly indicating that he was tired and exhausted on several occasions. »

— Request excerpt

The Longueuil police inflicted on him a punishment by humiliating public exposure, Desgagnés claims by intentionally and publicly exposing by video the very humiliating moment of his arrest, in addition to seriously undermining his dignity, complains the accused.

The computer specialist also denounces the absences of two Longueuil police officers for health reasons at key moments in the legal proceedings.

“It is unlikely that two police officers would be absent each time they had to work on the case of the same accused for almost an entire year. »

— Excerpt from the request

His trial had to be postponed for seven months due to health problems of the computer expert of the Longueuil police.

The decisions and actions of the Longueuil police officers for four years now have had the effect of depriving the petitioner of all his resources, such as his family, his house, his friends and his contracts, he insists in his petition.


These treatments take the form of continuous torture, he complains, adding that the police officers in a position of power have voluntarily inflicted suffering on him, thus campaigning for a stay of proceedings for abuse of power.

In addition to the abuses of which he claims to be the victim, the accused claims that he will not be entitled to a fair trial .

In his motion, he reveals that the police questioned another suspect, identified by his initials in the 39-page court document.

A public figure wrote to the first complainant to ask for her leniency towards this second suspect whom she has known for 19 years.

Longueuil police headquarters

Pascal Desgagnés obtained this email during the disclosure of evidence, which was provided by the prosecution.

The computer specialist maintains in his request that the police have waived the right to confiscate the computer equipment of this other suspect who, after being questioned, does not x27;was never charged.

According to the accused, the computer equipment of this other suspect could have enabled him to defend himself.

This missing evidence, he claims, would deprive him of a full and complete defence.

Judge Rachel Gagnon will announce in the coming weeks whether she will respond to the request in stay of proceedings before the start of the trial, scheduled for mid-November.

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