Assault at the Longueuil courthouse | The suspect accused of attempted murder, an “isolated act” according to Bonnardel

The man arrested Tuesday following an armed assault that occurred inside the Longueuil courthouse has been formally charged with attempted murder. Reacting to the tragedy, the Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, considers that it is a “senseless” but “isolated” act.

In addition to the charge of attempted murder, Alexandre Garcés, 44, faces charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and carrying a weapon with a dangerous purpose.

He appeared Wednesday morning by videoconference from the premises of the Longueuil Agglomeration Police Service (SPAL). The Crown opposed his release before his return to court for the bail hearing on Thursday.

Unusually, the Crown prosecutor indicated in the courtroom, shortly before her appearance, that the South Shore legal aid lawyers refused to represent the suspect.

“They have a conflict of interest. They cannot find another legal aid lawyer elsewhere,” complained Alexandre Garcés before being granted access to a telephone in the afternoon by the judge.

Always between life and death

“We find ourselves in a conflict of interest, in particular because of the circumstances of the event and also because the victim is well known to our lawyers and often collaborates in their cases,” confirmed the vice-president of the Services Commission legal, Me Nadine Koussa, however, affirming that South Shore legal aid will help the accused, if necessary, to find a lawyer.


Alexandre Garcés

The victim, Hai Thach, a well-known and highly regarded court interpreter, was still between life and death on Wednesday morning, after suffering serious neck injuries.

According to several witnesses met at the Longueuil courthouse shortly after the incident, the attack took place on the first floor of the building. After being stabbed, the victim allegedly took refuge in a toilet while the suspect tried to flee before being arrested by special constables.

According to the SPAL, Alexandre Garcés was not known to his agents and he did not know Hai Thach, which suggests that the interpreter was the victim of a gratuitous gesture. The suspect had no criminal record.

An “isolated” gesture

According to several actors in the judicial system, this event raises the question of security in courthouses outside.

Indeed, unlike a few rare establishments in the metropolis, including the Montreal courthouse, the Gouin judicial center and the building housing the Court of Appeal, courthouses elsewhere in the province do not have any security measures. special security.

The day after the attack, the Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, nevertheless insisted that it was an act of “senseless violence, but which remains an isolated act”.

“Our special constables performed remarkably yesterday and I would like to thank them. I also want to reassure citizens and repeat that our courthouses are safe places. Special constables and security agents are on the ground in courthouses in Quebec to ensure the security of the premises,” he continued in a statement sent by his office.

The minister adds that his thoughts “obviously accompany the victim and his loved ones”.


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