OTTAWA – Sen. Mike Duffy says he was specifically advised by a senior Conservative colleague to file expense claims for his home near Ottawa.
Duffy is testifying for the second day in his own defence, at his trial on charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.
Duffy says when he was appointed to the Senate in late 2008, he became worried over public criticism that he was not qualified to represent Prince Edward Island because he had lived in the Ottawa area for so long.
He says he was told by Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk, then deputy chairman of the powerful internal economy committee, to file living expenses on the premise that the Ontario home was his secondary residence and his P.E.I. cottage his primary one.
That way, Duffy says he was told, it would help remove any doubt that he was resident in the province he represented.
Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges, most of which revolve around his living expenses and travel claims.