05/08/2015 09:14 EDT | Updated 05/08/2016 05:59 EDT

Mike Duffy Trial: First Part Of Court Proceedings Winds Down


The first part of the Mike Duffy trial enters its last day today, heading for a three-week break before it resumes at the beginning of next month.

The trial, in its 22nd day Friday, began April 7 in the Ontario court of justice in Ottawa. After today's proceedings, the trial will take a break and begin again on June 1.

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 had been slated for 41 days, but both the Crown and defence have made clear that they will need more time.

Over the past couple of days, court began hearing from Conservative MPs who had invited Duffy to attend fundraising events in their ridings. 

British Columbia MPs Ron Cannan and John Duncan and Ontario MP Barry Devolin all testified that Duffy took part in events hosted by their riding associations.

All have said the events were political in nature, meant to the boost the fortunes of their local riding associations..

Although the Senate administrative rules do allow for senators to engage in partisan activities, the Crown contends Duffy committed fraud by expensing travel claims to the Senate for those particular events.

Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne has repeatedly argued that the definition of "partisan" is extremely broad and ambiguous. Bayne has suggested that these were public events and related to parliamentary functions.

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