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Mike Duffy trial: Crown expected to focus on expenses to attend funerals

06/04/2015 08:14 EDT | Updated 06/04/2016 05:59 EDT
The Mike Duffy trial could hear from up to 10 witnesses today, as the Crown is expected to spend some of its time focusing on expenses the suspended senator claimed to attend funerals in the East Coast.

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.

The trial, which began April 7 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa, is into its 26th day. Court has already heard of previous trips Duffy took that the Crown alleges were for either personal or partisan reasons and should not have been expensed to the Senate.

But Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne has countered that these trips were all related to parliamentary work, and that the expenses are justified.

On Wednesday, court heard about a trip to B.C for a luncheon at the end of 2012 for which Duffy expensed nearly $,4,500. Duffy's lawyer argued that this trip was for the purpose of a pre-budget consultation. But the Crown has suggested the meeting was used an excuse to expense a trip so Duffy could spend time with his family. 

Among the charges Duffy faces are those related to, according to the RCMP charge sheet, "inappropriate expense claims associated with personal attendance at funerals and related ceremonies."

Duffy is alleged to have filed at least five travel expense claims between April 2009 and March 2012 for these funerals and ceremonies. 

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