Langlois successfully represents the Celik family in their action against the independent investigation bureau (BEI)

On June 7, 2021, the Court of Quebec, with the Honourable Louis Riverin, J.C.Q., presiding, handed down a judgment ordering the Attorney General of Quebec and the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) to pay damages to the Celik family, whose son, Koray Kevin, was killed during a police operation in March 2017 at their Île-Bizard residence. François Mainguy, partner, with the support of Anna Villani, member of the litigation group at Langlois Lawyers, successfully represented this family.

In his judgment, Justice Louis Riverin of the Court of Quebec held that the BEI exceeded its jurisdiction, pursued an improper purpose and acted unreasonably in exercising its discretion. The news release issued by the BEI following the death of Koray Kevin Celik in March 2017 “drew a conclusion by totally excluding the parents’ version,” which was “equally credible”. In doing so, the BEI took a position in favour of the police version, suggesting that the police action was justified. It thereby “directly damaged the plaintiffs’ reputation and [their] honour,” the judgment reads.

The Tribunal found that the news release clearly did not meet the test for independence. It added that issuing the news release over the parents’ objection amounted to severe recklessness and that this decision appeared to be motivated by a desire to maintain independence from the Celik family rather than to respect its mission and purpose.

The BEI will have to pay $20,000 to the victim’s parents and $5,000 to each of his brothers, Deniz and Tyler Celik, plus interest. While this is an important victory in principle for the Celik family, the resulting judgment also sets a precedent.

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