Video: A day after RCMP said there will be no charges against the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff, Global News has learned the investigation into suspended Senator Mike Duffy is over, but he isn’t in the clear yet. Mike Le Couteur reports.
OTTAWA – The police investigation into suspended Senator Mike Duffy is complete and charges are likely to be laid very soon – possibly within a month, Global News has learned.
The RCMP and provincial Crown prosecutors are now in talks to lay charges against Duffy, as the RCMP announced Nigel Wright won’t be criminally charged for “gifting” a $90,000 cheque to Duffy to repay his questionable Senate expenses.
Sources say the RCMP has advised Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, he may be called as a witness in a future proceeding. Wright has said he will continue to cooperate with police.
Wright has already turned over a binder of emails to the RCMP showing the frustrated negotiations undertaken to get Duffy to repay the money, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office’s involvement in a Senate report critical of Duffy’s living expenses.
Duffy has been under criminal investigation since last summer for bribery, breach of trust and defrauding the government.
The investigation relates to the $90,000 cheque, Duffy’s travel and living claims and allegations he used Senate resources to pay a friend for little or no work.
In a statement Wednesday, Duffy refused to comment, citing the advice of his legal team. His lawyer, Donald Bayne, did not return a request for comment.
Duffy has maintained his innocence as the so-called Senate expense scandal raged. He told the Senate last October the $90,000 payback was part of a “monstrous conspiracy” perpetrated by the PMO.
Wright said in a statement through his lawyer Tuesday that his intention was to secure the repayment of taxpayer funds.
“I believed that my actions were always in the public interest and lawful,” Wright said. “The outcome of the RCMP’s detailed and thorough investigation has now upheld my position.”
Harper has repeatedly said he did not know of Wright’s decision to give Duffy the $90,000. Emails obtained by the RCMP suggest the Conservative party was willing to cover Duffy’s expenses when it was believed they amounted to $32,000.
Wright’s involvement in the $90,000 repayment has been returned to the office of the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, who is reviewing the matter.
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