QUEBEC – The lawyer for a Quebec judge convicted of murdering his wife has asked federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay to review his client’s case.
James Lockyer said he wants Jacques Delisle to have an opportunity to testify at a new trial.
Lockyer said Crown forensics experts at Delisle’s trial concluded that Nicole Rainville must have been murdered, while the defence argued she must have taken her own life.
“You could hardly have a more clear split between the experts,” Lockyer told a news conference in Quebec City on Friday.
“It’s apparent from the verdict the jury accepted the evidence of the Crown expert. I believe they were wrong to do so.”
Lockyer is an Ontario attorney and founder of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.
Delisle, 79, is the only Canadian judge ever convicted of first-degree murder.
He has told the CBC and Radio-Canada in interviews from behind bars that he left a loaded gun for Rainville to take her own life in November 2009 and tried to talk her out of it but that he didn’t kill her.
Delisle did not testify at his trial, which ended with a jury finding him guilty in 2012 of premeditated murder.
When police arrived at the house the day of the death, Delisle said his wife had gone to get the gun by herself.
Asked in the CBC and Radio-Canada interviews why he lied, he replied: “Because I didn’t want the family to know what really happened that morning. I didn’t want the family to know I helped Nicole commit suicide.”
When the time came to testify at his trial, he sent his lawyer, Jacques Larochelle, to tell his family the dark secret. They were devastated and the night before he was to take the stand, his daughter-in-law asked him to keep quiet.
He agreed, but says now he realizes it was a mistake.
Asked why he should be believed now, Delisle replied: “Because I am telling the truth today, it’s as simple as that.”
Lockyer said he met Delisle for the first time in February 2014 and his family a few months later.