POLITICS

A selection of what was said during the opening day of Mike Duffy's trial

04/07/2015 06:46 EDT | Updated 06/07/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Quotes from Tuesday's opening day of the trial of suspended senator Mike Duffy, who is facing a battery of charges, including fraud, breach of trust and bribery:

"I am not guilty, Your Honour." — Duffy, after the 31 charges against him were read in court.

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"Apart from the policies, there is something more fundamental at play and I think it can be reduced to two propositions. One, you can't steal from your employer; and two, you can't abuse your position of authority to unjustly enrich yourself." — Mark Holmes, the deputy Crown attorney, as he outlined the case against Duffy.

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"Sen. Duffy was probably ineligible to sit as a senator and to sit in the Senate as a representative of Prince Edward Island." — Holmes.

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'"We are basically forcing ... somebody to repay money that they probably didn't owe, and I wanted the prime minister to know that and be comfortable with that."' — Duffy lawyer Donald Bayne, quoting a police interview with Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper's former chief of staff and the man who paid Duffy's disputed expenses to the tune of $90,000.

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"Sen. Duffy didn't write these rules, and is not to blame if they seem extraordinarily broad or fuzzy." — Bayne, describing the Senate's rules for how office spending is administered and expenses are claimed.

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"This is our government, our Senate. These are our rules and they were (allegedly) abused by someone who had our complete trust and admiration as a reporter in seeking the truth." — Fred Trembinski of Timmins, Ont., who extended an Easter visit to Ottawa with his wife to watch the opening of the trial.

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"I had no knowledge of these things and will not be called as a witness." — Prime Minister Stephen Harper, asked about the Duffy trial during a news conference in Vancouver.

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