Senator Mike Duffy has been cleared of any wrong-doing in the long-running Senate expense scandal.
Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt delivered the verdicts of “not guilty” to all 31 fraud, breach of trust and bribery charges that Duffy was facing.
The 308-page decision brings the 62-day proceedings to rest.
The saga plagued the Conservative re-election campaign, while also embarrassing and diminishing the Senate and also exposed some of the inner workings of the government under Stephen Harper.
The bribery charge stemmed from Harper’s Chief of Staff Nigel Wright personally paying $90,000 in living expenses that Duffy claimed, by declaring his long-time home in Ottawa was his secondary residence.
The fraud and breach of trust charges related to Senate money the Crown alleged Duffy either received for trips that had nothing to do with Senate work, or that he brought in through another company to cover costs the Senate wouldn’t pay for.
Vaillancourt described Duffy as a “credible witness” through the trial.
He said Duffy “honestly and reasonably believed and relied on the advice he received regarding his appointment and his primary residence, and he acted upon it.”