Police raid home of Montreal journalist 0
Provincial police raided the home of Le Journal de Montreal reporter Eric-Yvan Lemay on Thursday following his investigation into unsecured medical files at four hospitals.
The health reporter, whose newspaper is owned by Sun Media, obtained patient information from three Montreal hospitals and one facility east of the city.
Photographs of some of the files appeared in a Feb. 9 story along with a summary of the type of information that was left in full view of passersby.
Police entered Lemay's home around 6:45 a.m. following a criminal complaint from Honore-Mercier Hospital in Ste-Hyacinthe, Que.
"He's a young father and he had his entire family around him," Le Journal editor-in-chief Dany Doucet said.
"He was told that if he didn't comply, they would handcuff him and arrest him."
The hospital's criminal complaint, which led to the issuing of a search warrant, alleges theft under $5,000 and trafficking of identifying information.
Lemay said the raid violates his freedom of speech.
"I consider it to be a completely illegal and unreasonable search that has no place in a democratic society," he said.
Investigators demanded to fingerprint Lemay and they planned to seize his computer and the clothes he wore on the day he visited the hospitals.
"Currently we are investigating a complaint of theft of confidential documents in a hospital...and the search was conducted this morning in connection with this alleged theft," Lt. Guy Lapointe said.
Doucet said Lemay never stole any documents.
"There is no document missing from any hospital," he said. "He's accused of touching documents, we don't have the right to move documents. So it's really an interpretation of the law in its strictest sense to take revenge against a newspaper that is doing its job."
It's the second time this year that a provincial police investigation has involved Le Journal de Montreal.
Last month, the public security department ordered a probe to determine who leaked information to the newspaper regarding a mole in the Montreal police force.