The Canadian Press

OTTAWA: A close friend of Mike Duffy is expected to continue his testimony today at the senator’s fraud trial.

Over three years Gerald Donohue took in roughly $65,000 in taxpayer money for a variety of contracts, directing the money through a firm owned by his wife and son.

He also signed several cheques on behalf of the firm to other individuals and companies that Duffy wanted paid for Senate work, including an intern, a makeup artist and speechwriters.

Prosecutors tried several times this year to call Donohue as a witness, but poor health continually postponed his appearance at the trial and he testified last week via video link from his home.

They allege the contracts awarded to Donohue were used as a slush fund for Duffy to pay for services that wouldn’t be approved by the Senate.

Duffy’s defence team has said repeatedly that while the payment system was unusual, it wasn’t criminal.

Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.


© 2015 The Canadian Press