POLITICS

Mike Duffy trial: Lawyer to focus on documents alleged to defame senator

05/07/2015 09:23 EDT | Updated 05/07/2016 05:59 EDT
Mike Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne will focus this morning on Wikipedia-related documents alleged to defame the now-suspended senator after the Crown argued yesterday they should be admitted into evidence.

The trial, in its 21st day Thursday, began April 7 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa. ​Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery related to expenses he claimed as a senator and later repaid with money from the prime minister's former chief of staff Nigel Wright.

​At the end of the day on Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Jason Neubauer made his case that these documents need to be part of the court record, because, he argued, the defence had mischaracterized their contents as "vile and scurrilous."

The documents were referred to as part of the testimony of journalist Mark Bourrie, who testified early on in the trial that he had received a $500 cheque after consulting Duffy about how to deal with internet trolls defaming his reputation.

Bayne, at the time, had suggested the comments about Duffy were so defamatory, that "nobody deserves this kind of material on the public record."

But Neubauer argued on Wednesday that that portrayal of the Wikipedia material was simply inaccurate.

Meanwhile, court may also soon hear from a number of Conservative MPs about Duffy's fundraising inside their ridings.

On Wednesday, court heard from Tory Mp John Duncan, the first parliamentarian to testify, who testified about a June 22, 2009, local party fundraising event that Duffy had been invited to in Comox B.C., to give a speech and meet with local constituents. 

The Crown contends that Duffy expensed travel claims for partisan activities that should not have been billed to the Senate.

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