Read the complete text of the statement issued by Senator Mike Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, late Wednesday, responding to the news that the RCMP will lay criminal charges against Duffy in connection with the Senate spending scandal:
This has been a difficult year for Mike and Heather Duffy, financially, emotionally and for Mike, health wise. He has had to undergo a second open-heart surgery; required serious follow-up (invasive) medical procedures at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and he still has serious heart problems.
Nevertheless, Senator Duffy is thankful that the awful 16 months of waiting through a protracted and highly public police investigation is finally over, and we can move on to an impartial forum and fair hearing.
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To date, Senator Duffy has never had a fair hearing, either in the Senate or in the media.
We are confident that when the full story is told, as it will be, and shown to be supported by many forms of evidence, it will be clear that Senator Duffy is innocent of any criminal wrong-doing.
Despite Senator Duffy’s serious on-going health problems, which compromise his strength, and despite his limited resources, he intends to defend fully and fairly and to show that the truth and innocence are on his side.
Those - including many in the media – who have been so eager and quick over the past year and a half to malign and even libel Senator Duffy without his ever having had a fair hearing, should slow down their rush to judgment and let fair process determine this matter.
I am sure that I am not the only Canadian who will now wonder openly, how what was not a crime or bribe when Nigel Wright paid it on his own initiative, became however mysteriously, a crime or bribe when received by Senator Duffy.
The evidence will show, that Senator Duffy did not want to participate in Nigel Wright’s and the PMO’s repayment scenario, which they concocted for purely political purposes.
There is much that is offensive here. But the evidence will show that it did not emanate from Senator Duffy.