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Charges laid in Senate scandal

 10 a.m. update: 

CTV is reporting that suspended senator Patrick Brazeau and former senator Mac Harb have been charged with one count each of breach of trust and fraud over their Senate expenses.

The RCMP made the announcement Tuesday morning. They say they are still working on other “significant" files.

“These investigations were detailed and involved careful consideration and examination of evidence,” Gilles Michaud, the RCMP’s assistant commissioner, the commanding officer of the RCMP’s national division said in Ottawa. “Our investigators interviewed dozens of individuals and witnesses. As is typical with any investigation, we also reviewed and analyzed thousands of documents, including financial statements, bank records and expense claims dating back to 2003.”

Both men will appear in court at a later date.

7 a.m. story - Sources say the RCMP are poised to lay charges of fraud and breach of trust against former senator Mac Harb in connection with his Senate housing expenses.

Media reports say charges are also coming today against suspended senator Patrick Brazeau.

The RCMP are scheduled to deliver a statement at 11 a.m. at national division headquarters.

The Mounties have for months been investigating allegations of fraud and breach of trust in the Senate expenses scandal.

Harb is a former Liberal senator who resigned last summer after police investigators alleged he should not have collected a housing allowance for a residence he claimed about 100 kilometres north of the capital.

Brazeau, a former Conservative, was suspended from the Senate after similar allegations about his housing claims.

The RCMP is also investigating expenses claimed by former Conservatives Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, but they are not expected to be charged today.

Duffy and Wallin have also been suspended from the upper house.

Duffy's expense troubles also snared Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff. Wright gave Duffy a $90,000 cheque to allow him to repay questioned expenses.

Last September, Wallin paid back her dubious travel claims. She said she repaid $100,600 plus interest on top of $38,000 already repaid.

That wasn't enough, however, to save her from suspension.

The three suspended senators lost their pay and office resources, but kept their health, dental and life insurance benefits.


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