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Ontario gas plants verdict expected Friday, ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

David Livingston (left), chief of staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, and Laura Miller (right), former deputy chief of staff, arrive at court in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. The Canadian Press Files

TORONTO – Two former top political aides will find out on Friday whether they are criminally responsible for the destruction of documents related to Ontario’s gas plants scandal.

Ontario court Judge Timothy Lipson is set to deliver his verdict in the case of David Livingston, chief of staff to former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, and his deputy Laura Miller who are accused of attempted mischief and illegal use of a computer.

READ MORE: Gas plants trial arguments come to a close; decision expected in January

The verdict comes just months before McGuinty’s successor, Premier Kathleen Wynne, will lead her party into a provincial election.

WATCH: The Breakdown: What’s at stake for Kathleen Wynne in the gas plant trial

Click to play video: 'The Breakdown: What’s at stake for Kathleen Wynne in the gas plant trial' The Breakdown: What’s at stake for Kathleen Wynne in the gas plant trial
The Breakdown: What’s at stake for Kathleen Wynne in the gas plant trial – Sep 22, 2017

The Crown had earlier dropped a charge of breach of trust against the pair, while the defence lost its battle to have Lipson issue an acquittal on the other two charges they face. The judge did reduce the mischief charge to attempted mischief.

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READ MORE: Judge rules Ontario gas plants email trial should continue

Over several weeks last fall, prosecutors outlined their case in which they claimed the duo had gone to “extraordinary lengths” to wipe the contents of hard drives in the premier’s office to ensure no records existed related to the cancellation of two gas-fired power plants.

The cancellation, just ahead of the 2011 provincial election, ended up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion and caused a huge political scandal.

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