As Canadian police stepped up their search for the abductors of British diplomat, James Cross, two masked men, armed with machine guns, swooped on the home of Quebec Labour Minister, Pierre Laporte, forced him into a car and sped off.
GV Ext. Cross's house
SV Woman at window
SV Another woman enters house
SV Justice Minister speaks
SV Justice Minister seated
SV Le Mieux seated
CU Le Mieux speaks
SV Crowd outside house
SV Police at entrance
SV Mother with escort
SV Police enter flat
Justice Minister, Jerome Choquette: I understand that it is the name of a certain conception of society that the authors of the (indistinct) of Mr. Cross have acted. But this conception, they cannot impose it on the majority of their citizens by violence or by murder. As an ultimate concession to save the life of Mr. Cross the federal government has instructed me that it is disposed to offer you safe conduct towards a foreign country. If, on the other hand, you choose to refuse such safe conduct I can assure you that you will benefit before our courts of all the clemency which such courts can grant in view of a humanitarian gesture to avoid the death of Mr. Cross. This, I can assure you. I therefore ask you, a gesture of absolute good faith, release Mr. Cross immediately.
FLQ LAWYER, ROBERT LE MIEUX: I have represented the Front for three years before the courts, I have a profound admiration, a profound respect for all of the individuals that I have met and represented. I feel that they are the most progressive, the most devoted, the most generous elements of Quebec youth mainly and perhaps I go as far as to say Quebec society so I accept with honour and with pleasure the demand of the Front to assist in, as the communique says that the operation, liberation if it is carried through goes on smoothly and I would like to inform the Front if they are listening that I will watch very closely for acts of bad faith that could be committed on behalf of governmental authority.
Initials CP/AS/OS/2227 CP/AS/OS/2240
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Background: As Canadian police stepped up their search for the abductors of British diplomat, James Cross, two masked men, armed with machine guns, swooped on the home of Quebec Labour Minister, Pierre Laporte, forced him into a car and sped off. The latest kidnapping took place shortly after the government announced its refusal to release 23 prisoners but offered safe conduct out of the country for Mr. Cross's kidnappers, providing he was released unharmed.
Quebec Justice Minister, Jerome Choquette, made the offer at a televised press conference only minutes before the FLQ's deadline for the execution of Mr. Cross if their demands were not met. At the same time, the lawyer for the Front for the Liberation of Quebec, Mr. Robert Le Mieux, reaffirmed his support for the Front.
But with the fate of the British Trade Commissioner still unknown -- hours after the deadline -- police stepped up the search for both kidnap victims and threw special guards around the homes of prominent politicians.
Mr. Laporte, a lawyer and senior minister in the Quebec Cabinet, was seized as he was playing football with his son, outside his suburban Montreal home.
The FLQ is an underground group, advocating independence for Quebec by any means...including violence.