03/11/2013 11:58 EDT | Updated 05/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Trial for former Liberal charged in Nova Scotia spending scandal set for Tuesday

HALIFAX - The trial of a former Liberal cabinet minister charged in Nova Scotia's spending scandal is set to begin Tuesday in provincial Supreme Court.

Russell MacKinnon pleaded not guilty last May to charges of fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents.

Five days have been set aside for his trial.

Defence lawyer Joel Pink says he believes it could take that many days to complete the proceedings.

Pink says he won't make any decisions on what witnesses if any will be called for the defence until the Crown completes its case.

MacKinnon was one of four politicians charged in February 2011 following an investigation by Nova Scotia's auditor general into constituency allowance spending.

Former Liberal Dave Wilson was sentenced last April after admitting to defrauding the public purse of nearly $61,000. He was released from custody in August after serving four months of a nine-month sentence.

Richard Hurlburt, a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, was sentenced last July to a year of house arrest after pleading guilty to charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Independent member Trevor Zinck is charged with theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust. His trial is scheduled to begin in June.