Ex-RCMP officer charged in Quebec with foreign interference seeks to quash charges

Ex-cop tries to quash charge

A retired RCMP officer charged with helping China conduct foreign interference asked a Quebec court judge on Monday to quash an indictment against him because it was filed in the wrong province.

Lawyers for William Majcher argued in a courtroom in Longueuil, Que., on Montreal's South Shore, that the charges should have been filed in British Columbia or Ontario.

"Those are two place in Canada where the offences are alleged to have been committed," said Louis Belleau, a Montreal-based attorney representing Majcher, who attended Monday's hearing by video conference.

"Nothing connects the case to Longueuil."

If the application is granted to quash, it would put an end to the Quebec proceedings.

Majcher, 61, is charged under the Security of Information Act with conspiracy and with committing preparatory acts for the benefit of a foreign entity. Authorities allege Majcher, a resident of Hong Kong, used his network of Canadian contacts to obtain intelligence or services that benefited the People’s Republic of China. His charge sheet says he committed the crimes in Vancouver, Toronto, Hong Kong, and other unnamed places in Canada, China and "elsewhere in the world."

His lawyers say a prosecution must be initiated in a jurisdiction with specific connection to the crime, the offence or the offender.

"Clearly, we're not seeking a stay of proceedings or any other type of order that would put an end to the prosecution of Mr. Majcher," Belleau said.

"The Crown will remain free to lay a charge where we believe the charge should have been laid in the first place."

Belleau told the court the defence asked the Crown to stay the Quebec case and charge Majcher in B.C., but he said prosecutors denied that request.

For its part, the Crown says a judge from any jurisdiction in Canada can hear cases involving the Security of Information Act.

Majcher was employed by the RCMP from 1985 until 2007. He later worked in investment banking in Hong Kong at EMIDR Limited, a company he co-founded, providing expertise on money laundering and financial crime risk.

The Quebec branch of the RCMP's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team began investigating Majcher in the fall of 2021, and federal prosecutors based in the province mounted the legal case against him.

"Our pretension is that the Security of Information Act gives territorial jurisdiction to Quebec judges to all of Canada, just like it gives Ontario judges jurisdiction all over Canada or it gives British Columbia judges jurisdiction all over Canada," prosecutor Philippe Legault told reporters Monday outside the courtroom.

Majcher was arrested in Vancouver in July 2023 and appeared before a judge in Longueuil, who granted him bail. He has not yet entered a plea, but his lawyer has told the court his client intends to plead not guilty to both charges.

In an interview with CTV News last month, Majcher told the network he is a "patriot" and not a "traitor" and was ready to challenge the charges.

Quebec court Judge Sacha Blais will rule on Majcher's request next month, ahead of scheduled trial dates in October.

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