A Manitoba RCMP officer has been charged with perjury after serving as a witness for a prosecutor in provincial court in September, the province’s police watchdog says.
RCMP notified the Independent Investigation Unit of a complaint they received on Sept. 23 about an officer’s testimony in Arborg, Man., says a news release issued on Tuesday.
The IIU investigated the complaint and civilian director Zane Tessler determined there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime occurred.
Const. Paul Lacoursiere was arrested and charged with perjury, the IIU said. He was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in provincial court on Aug. 10 in Arborg.
The IIU wouldn’t say whether the case in which Lacoursiere was a witness will be reviewed.
The RCMP said Lacoursiere is currently suspended with pay, but wouldn’t provide additional comment because the matter is being investigated by the IIU and will soon be in front of the courts.
Around the same time he served as a witness, Lacoursiere was in court in Selkirk facing an assault charge, which was later stayed.
The Selkirk case was about an incident that happened after he stopped a speeding vehicle on Highway 17 in the rural municipality of Rockwood in October 2018.
The driver, a 27-year-old man, was arrested for driving without a licence.
While he was in the back of the police vehicle, he reportedly blew mucus and spit on the back seat. Lacoursiere was accused of hitting the man with a pylon that was in the police car.
The man wasn’t injured, but Lacoursiere later reported the incident to his supervisor.
He was charged with assault with a weapon after the police watchdog examined the incident.
The case was diverted to a restorative justice program, provincial court records say.
Lacoursiere successfully completed the program and his charges were stayed on Jan. 24.
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