Oppositions parties want answers for Quebec chief Crown prosecutor's hasty departure

Annick Murphy, centre, is the chief Crown Prosecutor in Quebec

The pressure is increasing on director of criminal and penal prosecutions Annick Murphy to publicly explain the reasons for her hasty departure.

On Thursday, the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) added its voice to that of Quebec solidaire (QS) and the Parti Quebecois (PQ) to ask for clarification lest the situation continues to sow doubt in people's heads, they said.

Murphy announced publicly on Tuesday that she would be stepping down in Feb. 2021, about a year before her scheduled term expires. The announcement was made at the start of American election night, in the midst of a media circus.

The situation is reminiscent of the departure of the former boss of the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC), Robert Lafreniere, who announced that he was leaving his post without explanation on Oct. 1, 2018, the day of the provincial elections.

"Once again, it raises questions," said Liberal leader Dominique Anglade. "Your best bet is to clarify the situation: Tell us why you are (leaving), tell us what happened."

On Wednesday, Murphy refused interview requests. The PQ will table a motion on Thursday inviting her to come and explain herself on several issues, including her surprise departure, in parliamentary committee before Dec, 11.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2020.

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