POLITICS

Mike Duffy Trial: 5 Things We've Learned So Far

05/31/2015 01:11 EDT | Updated 06/01/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The trial of suspended Sen. Mike Duffy resumes Monday in an Ottawa courtroom after a brief hiatus. Here's a look at five things that were learned during the first five weeks of the proceedings:

1. Defence lawyer Donald Bayne is in no hurry. Bayne's exhaustive cross-examination of Crown witnesses has already pushed the trial's timeline well past the originally allotted 41 days of hearings.

2. The financial administration of the Senate was lax in certain areas. Senators didn't have to justify their trips with anything but a line in their paperwork saying they were on official business. Nor did Senate staff follow up on contracts handed out by senators to verify if the work was done, or who was doing it.

3. Duffy had some creative ideas about how to pay his service providers. He set up an umbrella contract with his friend Gerald Donohue, who then paid other people for work they did for Duffy. Those subcontractors included a personal trainer, a volunteer, and speechwriters.

4. Duffy was Mr. Popularity inside the Conservative caucus. Many MPs heard that Duffy was a great speaker, and they would invite him to attend their riding fundraisers. They didn't seem to pay much attention to who was picking up the cost of his flights across the country.

5. Duffy kept track of things. He kept detailed diaries of his daily activities and thoughts, down to vet visits and meals at Swiss Chalet. Those agendas have been entered into evidence.

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