Start of fraud trial for Normandeau, five other co-accused delayed

A fraud-related trial for former Quebec deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau and her five co-accused has been delayed.

No new date has been set for the trial, which was to begin Monday.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Dionne ordered the proceedings suspended Friday because of motions by certain of the accused to have the trial judge recuse himself.

Normandeau is seeking a trial as soon as possible, while her five co-accused want Quebec court Judge Andre Perreault replaced.

Maxime Roy, Normandeau's lawyer, has said his client has been waiting for two years to get the chance to give her side of the story.

Normandeau and the others were arrested in March 2016 by Quebec's anti-corruption unit following an investigation authorities said involved political financing and gifts allegedly being exchanged for public contracts.

The charges include fraud and breach of trust.

Normandeau, 49, was an influential minister who served as a Liberal member of the legislature from 1998 to 2011 and held key cabinet positions including municipal affairs, natural resources and Canadian intergovernmental affairs.

She served as deputy premier under Jean Charest between 2007 and 2011.