Five Hells Angels members freed, trial cut short as judge scolds Crown

MONTREAL — Five Hells Angels on trial on murder and conspiracy charges have seen the case dismissed because of lengthy delays in the disclosure of evidence by the Crown.

The five men — all members of the biker gang’s Sherbrooke chapter — were ordered released today in mid-trial by Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton.

Claude Berger, Yvon Tanguay, Francois Vachon, Sylvain Vachon and Michel Vallieres were arrested in 2009 under a widespread police sweep against the biker gang dubbed Operation SharQc.

Brunton was severe in his ruling, granting a defence motion for a stay of proceedings because the Crown only disclosed key information in September, while the defence had been seeking the evidence since 2011.

The Crown says it will consider appealing the decision.

Brunton is the same judge who ordered a stay of proceedings in 2011 for 31 Hells Angels members and sympathizers because of huge delays in brining them to trial.

They were facing various drug-related offences and were arrested during the same 2009 sweep.

The Crown attempted to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that Brunton did not err in exercising his discretion to order a stay in the case.

The Canadian Press

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