OTTAWA — A former Liberal MP is in search of the dismissal of two criminal charges connected to his time in workplace.
Raj Grewal’s law firm argues that prosecutors have not introduced ample proof to discover him responsible of the two breach of belief expenses, and the Crown has unsuccessful to build vital factors needed for these a discovering.
The Crown has sought to prove that Grewal made use of his political business for individual achieve, presenting access to gatherings with the primary minister and assist with immigration data files in exchange for significant financial loans that went toward his gambling personal debt.
But speaking just before a judge Monday, defence lawyer Nader Hasan argued that the prosecution “wants you to ignore a full vary of information and proof that have emerged during the program of these proceedings.”
Grewal appeared in court by using videoconference as Hasan set ahead his movement for a directed verdict and an acquittal on all fees.
In written arguments filed in Ontario Remarkable Courtroom, the defence says Grewal’s perform falls squarely inside of the non-prison group, and the prosecution’s situation won’t maintain h2o.
Hasan says in the document there is a difference concerning misusing one’s official status for a corrupt intent and building a slip-up — or even performing dishonourably — when serving in place of work.
“The latter is not a breach of belief,” the document states. “It might be an error in judgment deserving of administrative sanction, or it may just be a individual failing that has no adequate nexus to benefit sanction at all. Both way, it is not criminal.”
Grewal, who was 1st elected to depict the Ontario using of Brampton East in 2015 and is himself a lawyer, did not disclose a sequence of huge loans to the federal ethics commissioner.
An investigation of Grewal’s bank accounts supplied during the prosecution’s evidence discovered that he experienced taken in some $6 million really worth of deposits greater than $10,000 in the time right after he was elected as an MP, and that major amounts of that dollars went to payments at the Casino Lac-Leamy.
The most politically salient allegations against Grewal are that he available lenders face time with Primary Minister Justin Trudeau in trade for their economic support.
Two Brampton-area businessmen who just about every furnished a $200,000 bank loan to Grewal also attended situations through Trudeau’s storied trip to India in 2018.
A previous Liberal staffer testified that both Yusuf Yenilmez and Andy Dhugga ended up on a shortlist of persons whom Grewal invited to a private meet up with-and-greet with Trudeau.
But neither stated that they anticipated this sort of accessibility in exchange for the loans — and Hasan argues that the proof at trial “flatly contradicts” the idea.
Each businessmen described themselves as good friends with Grewal and testified that they have been unaware their names had been set ahead for an special function. In addition, neither explained the option for a photo-op with Trudeau as “particularly worthwhile,”the defence submission recounts.
Crown prosecutor Tim Wightman instructed in court on Monday that that would not negate the strategy that Grewal available them invitations simply because they gave him funds.
“He cannot erase the fact that he is indebted to them at the time,” he explained.
The prosecution has also alleged that seven other creditors gained immigration-relevant assistance from Grewal’s office environment, most frequently in the form of letters supporting apps for momentary resident visas.
Hasan famous that MPs’ places of work on a regular basis offer these letters to constituents, and they are not a needed portion of the software deals.
The plan that loans had been offered in exchange for the letters as a quid pro quo is “completely implausible,” he reported Monday.
He went on to suggest that if these kinds of letters — and even invitations to meet up with-and-greets — are typical routines for an MP’s business office, it would have been extra problematic if Grewal experienced refused to supply this sort of matters.
“These people weren’t singled out for particular remedy. They got the cure every person was receiving,” he explained in court docket on Monday, introducing that if Wightman had nailed down that any of the loan companies gave a bank loan in exchange for immigration solutions, “we would be hearing endlessly about it.”
To fulfill the common for a breach of have faith in charge, the Crown need to have offered evidence that Grewal was acting in link with the duties of his place of work, that his conduct represented a major and marked departure from the requirements envisioned of anyone in his place or that he acted with the intention to use his community business office for a reason other than the general public great.
The Crown has not succeeded in that, the defence insists.
But Wightman argued in courtroom that the breach of believe in offence is created to capture a huge wide variety of inappropriate activities, which deal with, in this scenario, an MP soliciting funds from an person figuring out that his office environment will be furnishing them some type of aid.
“It is a broadly worded offence, and the Supreme Court docket has articulated why it is so. And that is since it is created to cover conduct that, as the court states, defies specific definition,” he reported.
Wightman boiled down the Crown’s situation to this: “A public formal really should not profit from the provision of providers that are manufactured as section of his duties. Nor ought to a public official use his business or his responsibilities to offer benefits to somebody he’s indebted to.”
Grewal resigned as a member of the Liberal caucus in 2018 after his gambling dilemma came to general public focus, and he did not operate in the 2019 federal election.
In 2020, the RCMP charged him with 4 counts of breach of belief and a single rely of fraud in excess of $5,000, but only two breach of belief expenses remain.
His trial commenced last summertime, and only the prosecution has wrapped up its case right after nine weeks’ worth of evidence.
If the defence does not succeed in acquiring a directed verdict from the judge, a determination that will not be rendered until eventually late February or early March at the earliest, the trial could continue on into the spring.
This report by The Canadian Push was initial posted Feb. 6, 2023.
Marie-Danielle Smith, The Canadian Press