POLITICS

Patrick Brazeau's Assault Trial Taking 'Longer Than Expected'

06/30/2015 01:01 EDT | Updated 06/30/2016 05:59 EDT
CP
GATINEAU, Que. - The assault trial of suspended senator Patrick Brazeau has been adjourned until mid-September, when the accused is expected to take the stand in his own defence.

Brazeau is facing charges of assault and sexual assault arising from an alleged incident two years ago in the western Quebec city of Gatineau and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The female complainant, whose identity is protected, claims Brazeau pushed her down stairs, choked her, hit her head against a wall, spat on her and sexually assaulted her.

Proceedings will resume Sept. 15 with the Crown scheduled to show a videotaped declaration Brazeau made to police after his February 2013 arrest.

Brazeau, 40, was expelled from the Conservative caucus shortly after the arrest.

The trial was originally meant to last three days but Tuesday marked the eighth day as lawyers briefly discussed the admissibility of the video evidence.

Crown prosecutor Sylvain Petitclerc said there will be an admission from the defence at the next court date that the statement was given "freely and voluntarily."

The alleged victim has testified and Brazeau is expected to take the stand once the Crown has concluded.

Petitclerc isn't unduly concerned about the length of the trial.

"It's a bit longer than expected, but we're nearing the end," he said as he left the courtroom.

The case is being heard before a judge alone.

Brazeau's dealings with the justice system are far from over: another trial is scheduled to begin March 29, 2016, for alleged fraud and breach of trust in relation to his Senate expenses. He has already pleaded not guilty to these charges.

He also pleaded not guilty in an April 2014 incident where he was charged with assault on a man and a woman, cocaine possession, uttering threats and breaching court-ordered conditions.