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Hockey legend Lafleur wanted by police for giving contradictory evidence

MONTREAL - Hockey legend Guy Lafleur is expected to hand himself over to Montreal police later this week after a warrant was issued for his arrest on Wednesday.

The former Montreal Canadiens star is accused of giving contradictory evidence as a witness at his son's bail hearing last fall, his lawyer said.

His 23-year-old son, Mark Lafleur, faces more than 20 criminal charges from a series of incidents between 2004 and 2007, including sexually assaulting a minor, armed assault, uttering threats and forcible confinement.

Police phoned the Hall of Famer on Wednesday ordering him to turn himself over to authorities.

Lawyer Jean-Pierre Rancourt said drawing up an arrest warrant for Lafleur was unnecessary and "a bit abusive."

"I don't have a problem with the fact he's been accused, it's the prerogative of the Crown, but I am very shocked that it was done using an arrest warrant," Rancourt said Wednesday.

"You use that only when you fear the person could escape or is dangerous for the public, which is not the case with Guy Lafleur."

Rancourt said Lafleur is accused of giving contradictory accounts while he testified on his son's behalf during two separate court proceedings. He refused to provide further details about the charges.

"We'll go to trial and I believe firmly that my client has nothing to be reproached (for)," he said.

Last fall, Lafleur testified before a Quebec court that his son was abiding by a court-ordered curfew while he was staying with his parents.

But Quebec Superior Court Justice Carol Cohen ruled in November that was not the case.

"While, according to the testimony of the accused and his father before this court on Oct. 15, it seems that rather than sleeping at his father's house, (his father) allowed him to spend the weekends or nights in the company of his girlfriend, aged 16, in two different hotels," the judge said.

Lafleur later admitted he drove his son to hotels to spend the night with his teenage girlfriend.

Cohen ultimately denied Mark Lafleur's bail request.

The younger Lafleur has been in jail since he was arrested again in September for violating his original bail conditions. His trial is set to begin in March.

Cohen noted at the time that when asked by the Crown why he didn't tell the court about the hotel stays, the elder Lafleur responded "nobody asked him."

Rancourt, who defends both Lafleurs, said police agreed to allow the one-time speedy winger to turn himself in Friday morning.

"We will appear in court, we will plead not guilty and fix a trial (date) as soon as possible," he said.

Rancourt said Lafleur was "really upset" by the warrant, and was afraid of being led away in handcuffs.

"He feels very bad," he said. "He feels he didn't do anything wrong."



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