Sen. Brazeau's sex assault case postponed, RCMP seek his bank records in Senate probe

APTN National News
Sen. Patrick Brazeau’s sex assault trial was postponed for what his lawyer called, medical reasons, Wednesday while the RCMP are now seeking Brazeau’s bank records as investigators probe fraud allegations into the embattled Algonquin senator.

Brazeau’s lawyer and the Crown agreed to put his case over until Feb. 14, 2014 citing medical reasons but didn’t specify what exactly they were.

He has pleaded not guilty to assault and sexual assault stemming from an incident at his Gatineau home in February.

Meanwhile, Brazeau allegedly committed breach of trust and fraud by submitting inappropriate living expenses, as part of his role with the Senate, totaling nearly $45,000 according to documents filed in an Ottawa court Tuesday by the RCMP.

Investigators want access to TD Canada Trust and Scotiabank accounts belonging to Brazeau, particularly bank statements between March 2011 and July 2013.

“The purpose of this application is to obtain documents and data from two financial institutions, specifically bank account statements, which will provide evidence Senator Brazeau did in fact receive payment of expense claims submitted to the Senate,” wrote Cpl. Greg Horton.

Brazeau filed for living expenses claiming his primary residence was his father’s home in Maniwaki, Que. forcing him to rent a home in Gatineau for Senate-related business.

Senators are allowed to file for expenses if their home is more than 100 km from Parliament Hill.

However, according to the RCMP, Brazeau spent most of his time in Ottawa.

“It appears Brazeau spent approximately 81% of his time in Ottawa, for Senate business or otherwise, and 10% of his time in Maniwaki,” said Horton. “I do not believe that Brazeau’s primary residence is in Maniwaki, causing him to travel to Ottawa for Senate business, thereby incurring additional costs for a secondary residence.”

Police and forensic accountants have been examining expense claims, residency declarations, mobile telephone statements, corporate credit card statements, attendance records and electronic calendar entries.

Horton said the bank records will also “validate” the forensic accounting findings.

Police said they have interviewed Brazeau’s neighbours in Gatineau and Maniwaki who say they didn’t see him around much in Maniwaki and those in Gatineau thought he lived there permanently because Brazeau was around so much.

Brazeau was appointed to the Senate in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Last December a Senate committee ordered an audit into senator’s expense claims.

By February, the Senate called in Deloitte to provide their own audit of Brazeau and senators Mac Harb and Mike Duffy.

The RCMP is also investigating Duffy and Harb.

Brazeau has claimed he followed the rules but the Senate has ordered him to pay back nearly $48,000, with interest added, and would garnish his wages until the debt was paid.

Brazeau was removed from the Conservative caucus in February. He now serves as an Independent.

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