Closing arguments complete in Fontana trial
During closing arguments at the trial for London Mayor Joe Fontana the Crown hammered away at his credibility while the defence said no crime was committed.
Defence attorney Gord Cudmore says "There was no intent to commit a fraud, no one other than the police suggested that cheque was for the wedding...We all sadly do stupid things we regret, the good news is we don't all get prosecuted for them."
Meanwhile Crown attorney Tim Zuber says "[Fontana] works away at this document, he's doing something that a con man or fraudster would do...this was an attempte to defraud the federal government. Mr. Fontana's credibility is a serious issue."
Earlier in the day, the former manager of the Marconi Club, Joe Dipietro, was called back to the stand by the Crown despite the objections of the defence.
Prosecutors asked whether he had taken any time off during Feb. 2005. Dipietro responded that he had not as his father was very ill at the time.
By the end of the day Fontana appeared relieved the four-day trial had drawn to a close, saying "It's been tough."
On Wednesday, Fontana told the court it was "stupid" of him and a "mistake" to alter a document he submitted for expenses while he was an MP.
Fontana took the stand in his own defence after pleading not guilty to fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents from his time as a Liberal cabinet minister.
He says he altered an invoice for his son's June 2005 wedding to reflect the details of a reception he planned for then-finance minister Ralph Goodale at the same venue.
Even though that event did not happen as scheduled, Fontana says he believed he owed the Marconi Club a $1,700 deposit, but did not have any paperwork because he had only discussed the reception over the phone with the club's president.
A $1,700 Government of Canada cheque was ultimately sent to the Marconi Club, where it was listed on their books as payment for Fontana's son's wedding.
A verdict in the trial is expected to be delivered by Justice Bruce Thomas on Friday, June 13th.
With files from The Canadian Press.