Former Montreal Canadien Guy Lafleur to Stand Trial in April

Daniel ArouchianSenior Analyst IFebruary 11, 2009

A judge in Montreal gave the green light Wednesday for the court to go ahead with former Montreal Canadien and Hall of Famer right wing Guy Lafleur's obstruction of justice trial.

The judge ruled that the warrant used to bring Lafleur into custody was legal but unnecessary, and that it may have violated his charter right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

Yet the judge also denied Lafleur's request to stay proceedings, meaning the trial has been scheduled for April 16-17. Lafleur has pleaded not guilty to the obstruction of justice charge.

Lafleur's lawyers argued that a simple summons to appear in court would have been enough, instead of the high-profile arrest warrant.

"He's disappointed, but he's been ready since the beginning to face this trial," Lafleur's lawyer said outside the court.

The obstruction happened during his son Mark's recent trial, when Guy Lafleur told the court that his son was staying at their house as ordered by a judge. Police later discovered receipts that Guy drove his son to a hotel several times to be with a girlfriend.

In January 2008, an arrest warrant was issued for Guy Lafleur. It made headlines around the world. Lafleur turned himself in the same day.

In court last November, Lafleur claimed he was humiliated. His lawyer said by issuing a warrant, the police and prosecutors violated Lafleur's rights.

Lafleur has launched a $3.5-million civil suit against the police and the Crown over the warrant. If convicted of obstructing justice, he can face a maximum of 14 years in prison.