Sen. Mike Duffy's trial began in April.With Harper and the Conservatives now out of power, interest in the details of how his Prime Minister's Office and Senate leadership tried to make the scandal go away might wane. Still, the main attraction for the late fall sitting will be Duffy himself, who defence lawyer Donald Bayne has always promised would appear as a witness. Duffy has said almost nothing publicly since the trial began in April. Duffy, a former broadcaster, made two dramatic speeches on the Senate floor two years ago, striking out at Harper and his team and promising that he would have many more details to reveal. He has always maintained that he was coerced into saying he would repay his Senate living expenses, even though he never thought he had done wrong. "Canadians know me as an honest guy. To pay back money I didn't owe would destroy my reputation," Duffy told the Senate in October 2013. "The PMO piled on the pressure. Some honourable senators called me in P.E.I. One senator in particular left several particularly nasty and menacing messages: Do what the prime minister wants. Do it for the PM and for the good of the party. I continued to resist. Finally, the message from the PMO became: Do what we want or else." The court has scheduled this portion of the trial to run until Dec. 18, but there is a possibility the lawyers will need more time to present their final arguments at another juncture. "It's been a very long and difficult experience for Sen. Duffy and his wife Heather," Bayne told The Canadian Press. "Any Canadian can understand how difficult this is and particularly for someone dealing with the health issues he has."
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