Friday, May 01, 2009


Former Montreal Canadians player Guy Lafleur returns to court at Palais de Justice on April 16, 2009. (Phil Carpenter/Canwest News Service)
Guy Lafleur guilty of obstruction of justice
Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, May 1, 2009
MONTREAL -- Just because hockey great Guy Lafleur is a well-known personality doesn't mean the justice system should let him off lightly for lying in court for his son, Mark, a Crown prosecutor argued Friday.
Shortly after Quebec Court Judge Claude Parent found Lafleur guilty of giving contradictory evidence, Lori Weitzman argued for a conditional sentence for the Hockey Hall of Famer.
"Perjury, quite simply, can't be condoned," Weitzman said. "Justice has to be applied equally to everyone."
The former Montreal Canadien's lawyer argued that since the sentence could range from zero to 14 years, the judge should give no sentence.
"This crime is at the bottom rung on the ladder ... in terms of seriousness," Jean-Pierre Rancourt said. "He has been punished already with an arrest warrant which garnered a lot of publicity and today the verdict will be publicized."
He said Lafleur has therefore already served a type of sentence and should only receive a fine.
Lafleur, who sat in court with his other son, Martin, for the hearing, will learn the judge's decision June 18.
In September 2007, Lafleur told the court his troubled son, Mark, had respected a court-ordered curfew and was home with his parents during a weekend away from rehab. But a month later, when presented with hotel receipts, Lafleur admitted that Mark, who is now 24, had spent two nights at a hotel with a 16-year-old girl.
"What was important for me was that he respect his curfew and not use drugs or alcohol," Lafleur testified at the time. "Whether it was at our place or a hotel, it didn't matter."
He said he thought the added privacy of a hotel would help his son reintegrate into society.
At the time, the younger Lafleur was out on bail on several charges, including assault. He was staying at a half-way house, and was later sent back to prison for breaking conditions.
The senior Lafleur was vouching for his son during a bail hearing, hoping he'd be released again and allowed to stay with his parents.
"He didn't do anything that would gain him anything personally," Rancourt argued yesterday.
"He just went along with it to help his son."
Mark Lafleur is now serving 15 months house arrest after pleading guilty to 23 counts of drug, drunk driving and assault charges, including 13 involving his ex-girlfriend.
His father has filed a $3.5-million civil suit against the police detective and the prosecutor behind his arrest warrant, which resulted in international headlines.


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