RCMP to lay charges against Mike Duffy, says lawyer

Harry Sullivan
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OTTAWA - The RCMP has decided to file charges against Mike Duffy, according to a statement issued by the suspended senator's lawyer late Wednesday.

Mike Duffy to be charged

Donald Bayne did not specify what the charges will be, but insisted that his client did not commit a crime.

''We are confident that when the full story is told, as it will be, and shown to be supported by many forms of evidence, it will be clear that Sen. Duffy is innocent of any criminal wrong-doing,'' said Bayne.

The Senate voted last fall to suspend the former Conservative senator from Prince Edward Island as part of an ongoing controversy over disputed living expenses.

The RCMP has been investigating the housing claims and a $90,000 payment made to Duffy by Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, so Duffy could pay back the disputed claims.

The RCMP said in April that no charges would be laid against Wright, who resigned as Harper's right-hand man after it was disclosed he gave Duffy a $90,000 cheque.

Bayne said the evidence will show Duffy ''did not want to participate in Nigel Wright's and the PMO's repayment scenario,'' which he contends was ''concocted for purely political purposes.''

Bayne also said Duffy ''intends to defend fully and fairly and to show that the truth and innocence are on his side.''

The lawyer said Duffy is ''thankful that the awful 16 months of waiting'' is over and that the former senator has ``never had a fair hearing'' in the Senate or in the media.

The Globe and Mail reported late Wednesday that the RCMP was expected to announce the charges against Duffy on Thursday.

Duffy, along with fellow former Conservatives Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin, was suspended from the Senate last November over expense claims.

Liberal Mac Harb resigned from the Senate in August after paying back $231,000 for ineligible housing and travel expenses.

Harb and Brazeau face criminal charges of fraud and breach of trust, while Wallin has not been charged.

 

Organizations: RCMP, Globe and Mail

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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