Robocalls investigation closed, Elections Canada says
OTTAWA – There is no new robocalls investigation, the office of the commissioner of Canada Elections says – despite a judge’s finding that Michael Sona didn’t act alone.
A spokeswoman for Commissioner Yves Côté said in order for an investigation to take place, someone would have to formally complain and a case would have to be made for a second look.
And based on what they know now, there isn’t one.
“We conducted an investigation. All of the evidence that we found was presented to the Crown,” Michelle Laliberte told Global News.
Asked if the office has received more information, Laliberte said, “Not at this point.”
Sona declined to talk to Global News “now or in the future,” said a spokesman for Ontario corrections.
On Wednesday Sona was sentenced to nine months in jail and a subsequent year’s probation for his role in the scheme to send some 7,000 misleading calls to mostly non-Conservative voters during the 2011 election.
But even as Justice Gary Hearn sentenced him, he agreed Sona didn’t act alone.
“This disturbing plan was undertaken by Mr. Sona together with one or more other persons,” Hearn wrote in his sentencing ruling.
“Although the court was not satisfied to the degree required that Mr. Sona was the one who actually activated the calls through [automated calling firm] RackNine on election day from the Guelph Conservative campaign office, the court has absolutely no doubt that he was aware the calls were to be sent and was actively involved both with the creation of the calls and the process leading to those calls being activated.”
Sona has maintained his innocence. Following his sentencing a friend released a statement, apparently from Sona, reiterating that he had no involvement in the calls and doesn’t know who made them.
Watch: Michael Sona gets nine months in jail for robocalls scheme
Throughout trial, it was suggested two others involved in the campaign – deputy campaign manager Andrew Prescott and campaign manager Ken Morgan – may have been involved.
Prescott received an immunity deal to testify against Sona, although Hearn ultimately rejected most of his evidence.
Court also heard that Morgan had access to the Conservative supporter database used to make the calls. Morgan, who moved to Kuwait after the election, did not cooperate with investigators.
“The evidence and/or absence of evidence might lead to the conclusion that one or more individuals were involved in this plan. That may or may not be Mr. Prescott as alleged by the defence or may or may not be Mr. Morgan,” Hearn wrote in his August conviction ruling.
“Whoever else was involved is not known, nor do I make any findings as to who that individual or individuals might be.”
Prosecutor Croft Michaelson said the Crown only subpoenaes witnesses with evidence relevant to the charge before the court.
“There must be some basis for believing that a person has relevant and material evidence before a subpoena can be issued by the court. In this case, we called the witnesses who were required to prove the charge against Mr. Sona,” he wrote in an email.
Sona, who is serving his sentence at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ont., has 30 days to appeal. Nothing was filed with the court as of Friday afternoon.
Laliberte said that even if someone presented new information to the commissioner, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to a new investigation.
“We would assess it to see if there was more that needed to be looked at,” she said.
“It would have to demonstrate that it was worth investigating.”
© 2014 Shaw Media