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Will Criminal Charges be Laid in Senate Expense Scandal?

31 May 2013

It didn’t stop with Mike Duffy, and it didn’t stop after Nigel Wright resigned from his position. And, it looks as though the scandal surrounding Senate expenses isn’t going to stop yet either. Not until people start getting their answers, and maybe even charges are laid.

Former RCMP Superintendent, Garry Clement, says that he wouldn’t be surprised at all if fraud or “more appropriately,” breach of trust charges are brought about under the Criminal Code in regards to the current Senate expense scandal.

“If you look at the allegations and you look at the Senate Act and the ways it’s described as housing goes, then I think that’s probably the approach they’ll take,” he says. “From my read of the Act and from what’s been through the media I think they have pretty strong grounds.”

And criminal charges could actually be laid, as the case of the expense claims submitted by Senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb, and Patrick Brazeau are all currently under investigation by the RCMP. And the Mounties have already asked the Senate for documents pertaining to claim policies in order “to make a determination on whether there are grounds to commence a criminal investigation.”

Mr. Clement says that one of the most interesting aspects of the investigation will revolve around the exact transaction, and any communication, that took place between Duffy and Wright about the expenses, and Wright’s repaying those funds for Duffy.

“Mr. Wright is a lawyer so I would think or hope that he dotted his i’s and crossed his t’s,” says Mr. Clement.

And, he also says that even if Wright had drawn up legal documents, it doesn’t necessary mean that they will still hold up under the letter of the law.

“The fact it was drafted by legal counsel doesn’t necessarily mean it cannot be construed to having breached some law,” he states.

He says that a full review of Duffy’s audit report, which has now been shown to be whitewashed to eliminate some language that indicated Duffy in wrongdoing, is needed along with a full access to any and all paperwork involved in the transaction.

“If I was investigating or directing the investigation,” says Clement, “I’m going back to the auditors, looking for all of the initial reports, including all drafts, and looking for who directed the change to take place.”

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