Sentencing for former Ontario MP Del Mastro postponed to January

Questions remain about next steps in disgraced politician's legal battles

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

LINDSAY, Ont. – A sentencing hearing for former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro has been postponed until Jan. 27, but questions remain about the next steps in the disgraced politician’s legal battles.

Del Mastro — once parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper — resigned from his House of Commons seat two weeks ago after he was convicted of violating the Canada Elections Act during the 2008 election.

He had been sitting as an Independent ever since being expelled from the Conservative caucus on the day he was charged in September 2013.

On Oct. 31, Del Mastro was found guilty of exceeding spending limits, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document.

He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine on each of the three convictions.

Shortly after the judgment, Del Mastro said his lawyers would ask the court to let them re-open the defence in his case to present new evidence. But those efforts now appear to have been abandoned.

No application to re-open the defence has been brought forward, and none is expected, said Crown lawyer Brendan Gluckman, who was in court Friday as Del Mastro’s sentencing hearing was postponed to late January.

When pressed for clarification, Del Mastro’s new Toronto-based lawyer Leo Adler said while he still needs time to review the case, he has no current plans to re-open the defence.

It remains unclear whether Del Mastro — who continues to maintain his innocence — intends to file an appeal.

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