Dictionary book

Jury deliberating in Chez Cora kidnapping trial asks for cigarettes, pot and a dictionary

“Sometimes a jury asks for a dictionary. The answer is always the same and it’s negative.”

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The jury currently in deliberation in receivership in the trial of a Laval businessman accused of kidnapping the president of the restaurant chain Chez Cora has demanded cannabis, cigarettes and a dictionary as they try to decide on the fate of the accused.

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Superior Court Judge Francois Dadour was accommodating to the panel by allowing it to receive requests for cigarettes and SDQC products. But, ironically, he couldn’t allow them access to a dictionary.

“Sometimes a jury asks for a dictionary. The answer is always the same and it is negative,” Dadour said Tuesday while explaining that a jury is limited to having access only to the evidence they have heard during a trial while deliberating. towards a verdict. “A dictionary is outside the evidence and instructions (the judge provides at the beginning and end of a trial) and therefore you have no right to it.”

Paul Zaidan, 52, former owner of a Chez Cora franchise on Île-des-Sœurs which went bankrupt, is accused of kidnapping Nicholas Tsouflidis, the restaurant chain’s boss, on March 8, 2017, and to have held him against his will for hours. He is also accused of trying to extort $11 million from Tsouflidis’ mother, Cora Tsouflidis, the company’s founder.

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The trial began in November and the jury began deliberating over the weekend. They deliberate at the Laval courthouse and, at night, they return to a secret hotel where they are not supposed to have contact with the outside world.

In a series of four personal requests to Dadour on Tuesday, a juror wrote that he did not expect to deliberate for more than two days.

One juror asked to call their elderly mother, another asked to call their pharmacist for more medication, and two asked if someone could come to an SDQC to get them cannabis products.

Dadour authorized the personal call, provided it was supervised by the special constable assigned to the jury. He also allowed requests for cannabis while noting that it must be consumed responsibly, like alcohol, at night and after daytime deliberations.

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On Wednesday, Dadour faced four other personal requests, including three for access to cigarettes. In a sign that it could be a long time before a verdict is delivered, a juror demanded five full-size packages from du Maurier Signature.

Dadour again granted the requests on Wednesday while noting to the special constable assigned to the jury that most could be accomplished by forwarding the requests to people like jurors’ relatives.

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  1. Paul Zaidan owned a Chez Cora franchise on Nuns' Island that was ordered to close by the Chez Cora branch run by Nicholas Tsouflidis, whom he is accused of kidnapping and holding for ransom in 2017.

    The trial of the man accused of having kidnapped the president of Chez Cora enters its final phase

  2. Paul Zaidan, who faces kidnapping and extortion charges, is seen leaving an interview room at the Laval courthouse on Tuesday.

    The president of Chez Cora testifies to having been kidnapped after trying to help a stranger

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