OTTAWA – Sen. Patrick Brazeau will no longer face trial over his Senate housing expenses.
During a court hearing Wednesday, the Crown withdrew one charge each of fraud and breach of trust — counts that were laid by the RCMP against the Quebec senator more than two years ago.
The Crown says it no longer believes there is a reasonable prospect to convict Brazeau.
“My client feels relief for sure,” Brazeau’s lawyer, Christian Deslauriers, said after the hearing. “He always claimed his innocence; he always said he did the right thing.”
Brazeau did not attend the hearing in person, although he did express himself on Twitter in the moments after the charges were dropped.
“I wouldn’t wish false accusations on my worst enemy,” Brazeau tweeted. “It almost ruined my life. I was thrown under the bus, but I survived.”
The decision paves the way for Brazeau to return to the Senate in full standing with access to all the resources of his office, although Deslauriers could not say Wednesday when that will happen.
“Mr. Brazeau is going to go back to the Senate; I cannot tell you when,” he said, noting it remains for the upper chamber to confirm that Brazeau is eligible to return.
The decision closes one of the last remaining doors on the Senate expense scandal and the sweeping RCMP investigations that followed.
Since Mike Duffy was acquitted of 31 criminal charges stemming from his Senate expenses, charges have been dropped again former senator Mac Harb and the RCMP has closed its three-year-long investigation of Sen. Pamela Wallin.