06/15/2012 12:21 EDT | Updated 08/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Preliminary inquiry ends for N.S. politician charged in spending scandal

HALIFAX - The lawyer for a Nova Scotia politician facing fraud-related charges in the province's spending scandal says his preliminary hearing has wrapped up and it may be a year before the case goes to trial.

Lyle Howe says the inquiry involving Trevor Zinck, an Independent member of the legislature, concluded in provincial court today.

The case will move to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in July to set dates for future hearings.

Zinck is accused of theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.

Evidence from the hearing is banned from publication to protect his right to a fair trial.

Zinck is one of four Nova Scotia politicians charged in February 2011 following an investigation into constituency allowance spending.