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Documents reveal scant evidence of Guergis wrongdoing

In Canada on September 28, 2010 at 20:42
Back to Documents reveal scant evidence of Guergis wrongdoing

Documents reveal scant evidence of Guergis wrongdoing

September 28, 2010

New documents suggest Prime Minister Stephen Harper had little evidence of wrongdoing when he decided to turf Helena Guergis from cabinet and the Conservative caucus.

Indeed, Guergis is mentioned only once — and then not even by name — in 36 pages of documents which private investigator Derrick Snowdy gave to the RCMP last spring.

The documents were tabled with the Commons government operations committee earlier this week.

They include some references to Guergis’ husband, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, including a notorious email in which controversial Toronto venture capitalist Nazim Gillani boasted that Jaffer “has opened up the prime minister’s office to us.”

But the only mention of Guergis herself comes in a text message from Gillani, advising an associate that he was “with Rahim and his wife.”

Harper cited “serious allegations” as the reason he decided last April to dump Guergis from cabinet and turn the matter over the RCMP — a move that came one day after Snowdy met Conservative party lawyer Arthur Hamilton.

The Mounties have since refused to investigate the matter, as has the parliamentary ethics watchdog.

Nevertheless, Guergis is persona non grata with the Tories, who won’t allow her to represent the party in the next election.

She intends to run as an independent conservative.

Guergis has said neither Harper nor Hamilton ever specified the allegations against her, although she’s said the prime minister referred to “criminal behaviour.”

Snowdy himself told the parliamentary committee he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Guergis but was only concerned about the “optics” of her association with Gillani.

The committee continues to probe allegations of illegal lobbying by Jaffer.

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