It comes after a long RCMP investigation
Sen. Harb in happier times
The RCMP today charged former Liberal Senator Mac Harb and suspended Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau with fraud and breach of trust over their Senate expenses.
The charges were announced by Assistant RCMP commissioner Gilles Michaud in Ottawa. The charges come, not unexpectedly, after several months of investigation by the Mounties.
Harb is a former Liberal senator who resigned last summer after police alleged he should not have collected a housing allowance for a residence he claimed about 100 kilometres north of Ottawa, near Pembroke, Ontario.
He repaid $230,000 to the Senate.
Brazeau, a former Conservative senator, was suspended from the Senate after allegations about his housing claims. He claimed a home where his father lives in Maniwaki, Québec, north of Ottawa, as his principal residence and collected a housing allowance of $49,000.
Both men insist they did nothing wrong and were simply victims of ambiguous Senate rules.
Former Conservative senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin were also suspended from the Senate over expense claims, but no charges have been laid against either of them.
Michaud, who is commanding officer of the RCMP's new national division which deals with political corruption investigations, says the RCMP laid the charges against Harb and Brazeau after extensive police investigation and talking to a great many witnesses and examining thousands of documents, including bank records and financial statements.