Ontario judge dismisses breach of trust charges against former Liberal MP Raj Grewal
OTTAWA — An Ontario judge has dismissed two breach of trust charges against a former Liberal MP who had been accused of using his political office for personal gain.
Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge Sylvia Corthorn revealed her decision in Raj Grewal's case this morning, bringing an end to the criminal trial that has dragged on since last summer.
She said a reasonable jury, properly instructed, would not have been able to render a guilty verdict, and she found Grewal not guilty as a result.
Grewal’s lawyer argued in a directed verdict application last month that prosecutors did not present enough evidence to find him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
The Crown alleged Grewal offered access to events with the prime minister and help with immigration files in exchange for large loans that went toward his gambling debt.
The former MP left the Liberal caucus in 2018 after his gambling problem became public.
In 2020, the RCMP charged him with four counts of breach of trust and one count of fraud over $5,000, but only the two breach of trust charges were still on the table.
The most salient evidence at issue had been that two Brampton-area businessmen who each provided a $200,000 loan to Grewal also attended events during Trudeau’s storied trip to India in 2018.
But neither stated during the trial that they expected such access in exchange for the loans.
Defence lawyer Nader Hasan argued that the evidence at trial "flatly contradicts" the notion.
He argued there is a difference between misusing one's official status for a corrupt purpose and making a mistake — or even acting dishonourably — while serving in office.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.
The Canadian Press