Dean Del Mastro's bid to reopen trial is dismissed
Former MP's sentencing hearing expected to go ahead tomorrow
A judge has dismissed the attempt by former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro to have his case reopened after she found him guilty on all counts for breaking campaign spending laws.
Del Mastro's lawyer argued last month that Judge Lisa Cameron had made mistakes in her November judgment and that she should reconsider her findings. Cameron has decided against allowing Del Mastro to reopen the case, and is expected to hear sentencing arguments in Lindsay, Ont. on Thursday.
Del Mastro's lawyer, Leo Adler, had also argued that no victim impact statements should be allowed and that, if they were allowed, he should be able to cross-examine them.
A spokesman for the Crown prosecutor says Cameron is allowing three of 10 victim impact statements submitted through the Crown and will subject them to judicial editing, but will not permit cross-examination.
Del Mastro's sentencing hearing will come the day after his cousin David Del Mastro's pretrial in Brampton, Ont.
David Del Mastro is charged with breaking campaign donation limits in the same 2008 election campaign for which Dean Del Mastro was found guilty of breaking the law.
Dean Del Mastro and Richard McCarthy, the Conservatives' official agent for the Peterborough riding campaign, were found guilty Oct. 31 of exceeding the federally mandated spending limit, and of submitting a false or misleading document to Elections Canada. Del Mastro, who at one time served as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, was also found guilty of donating too much to his own campaign.
- Dean Del Mastro found guilty in election spending case
- David Del Mastro, cousin of Ontario MP, charged in election probe
As the official agent for the campaign, McCarthy handled the money and signed off on expenses.
Little precedent for sentencing
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of $2,000, one year in prison, or both, according to a release from the Crown prosecutor's office.
The Crown's office couldn't say whether it would request jail time.
The judge isn't expected to deliver a sentence on the day of the hearing.
There isn't much precedent on which to base a sentence for a conviction on Canada Elections Act offences.
Weeks after Del Mastro and McCarthy were found guilty, a judge in Guelph, Ont., sentenced Michael Sona to nine months in jail for planning and conducting illegal robocalls to deter people from voting in the 2011 federal election. It is thought to be the first incarceration for an offence under the Canada Elections Act.
Sona is appealing his sentence, arguing it is unnecessarily harsh given he is a first-time offender who has already suffered considerably. The Crown is also appealing the sentence, arguing it fails to reflect the gravity of the offence.