Del Mastro seeks to re-open elections expenses trial, citing new evidence

Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, found guilty last week of violating the Canada Elections Act, says his lawyers will seek to re-open his defence in order to present new evidence.

OTTAWA — Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, found guilty last week of violating the Canada Elections Act, says his lawyers will seek to re-open his defence in order to present new evidence.

Del Mastro was found guilty last week of exceeding spending limits during the 2008 election, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document.

He now says there is fresh evidence that was not put before the court because it was not disclosed in a timely fashion by Elections Canada.

Del Mastro, who insists he didn’t break any election laws, wants the defence re-opened before his Nov. 21 sentencing date.

He says new evidence can be introduced if it is relevant, credible, capable of changing the result of the trial and could not have been presented during the trial.

If convicted, the now-Independent MP — a former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper — faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine on each charge, as well as the prospect of losing his House of Commons seat.

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