PMO learned of ‘serious charges’ against Marwan Tabbara on Friday: Trudeau

Click to play video: 'PMO learned of ‘serious charges’ against Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara on Friday: Trudeau' PMO learned of ‘serious charges’ against Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara on Friday: Trudeau
WATCH: Trudeau says PMO learned of 'serious charges' against Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara on Friday – Jun 9, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he and the PMO learned that Kitchener-area Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara, was facing several criminal charges on Friday.

“As we said, I and my office only learned about the serious charges against this MP on Friday,” Trudeau said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“No one in my party or my organization knew anything about them until Friday.”

READ MORE: MP Marwan Tabbara leaving Liberal caucus after charges laid

Marwan Tabbara, who has served as the MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler since 2015, was arrested in Guelph, Ont., on April 10.

He has been charged with assault, breaking and entering to commit an indictable offence and criminal harassment.

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Trudeau said that when his team found out about the charges, the “correct steps” were taken and Tabbara removed himself from the Liberal Party caucus.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said he learned about the charges on Friday.

“I found out through your media reports,” he said. “I had no knowledge prior to that.”

Asked by reporters if this marks a breakdown in communication within the party, Blair said every member has a “responsibility” to report these types of instances.

“That information about the charges being laid were not brought to our attention until the member did so.” he said. “I think every member has that responsibility to report to this house and to their leader the circumstances that they find themselves in.”

Kitchener South-Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara. Supplied

Tabbara announced on Friday he would be “stepping back” from the party’s caucus.

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“Other than to state unequivocally that every incident of violence is unacceptable and inexcusable, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further while this matter is before the court,” he said in the statement.

According to Tabbara, he is receiving counselling and treatment for anxiety and depression.

He is scheduled to make a court appearance on June 19.

— With files from Global News’ Matt Carty and Kevin Nielsen

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