Case against Mike Duffy filled with holes, defence argues

The Canadian Press
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Sen. Mike Duffy, a former member of the Conservative caucus, arrives to court in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016.

OTTAWA — Thousands of pages of evidence, dozens of witnesses, weeks of testimony and none of it proves Sen. Mike Duffy committed any crimes, the senator's lawyer argued Tuesday.

On what's expected to be the final day of arguments at Duffy's trial for fraud, breach of trust and bribery, Donald Bayne said the case against his client is full of holes.

Bayne said the Crown failed to prove that Duffy had criminal intent in the way he handled his expenses or that what he did amounted to a prohibited act.

He said the rules of the Senate gave Duffy discretion over how to spend his office budget and there was nothing wrong with the way it was spent.

The Crown alleged Duffy used Senate resources to set up a “slush fund” to pay for services the Senate would not cover directly.

But Bayne argued Duffy personally never took a penny of the money and those who were paid say they were providing services the senator needed to do his job.

Duffy has pleaded not guilty on all charges.

The two sides used their closing arguments to hammer home some of their key arguments before Judge Charles Vaillancourt considers the 61 days of testimony he has heard since last April.

Vaillancourt is expected to reserve judgment; outside the courthouse, he said it will likely be “mid-April” before he delivers a verdict, a date that will be set in consultation with the lawyers.

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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