Judge dismisses former MP Dean Del Mastro’s application for a mistrial

TORONTO — An Ontario judge has dismissed former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro’s attempt to have a mistrial declared in his election overspending case.

Del Mastro, a former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was convicted last fall of violating the Canada Elections Act during the 2008 election. He has since resigned his House of Commons seat.

At what was supposed to be a sentencing hearing last month, court heard that Del Mastro’s lawyer had filed an application for a mistrial, arguing Justice Lisa Cameron had erred in her judgment.

A spokesman for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada says Cameron has dismissed Del Mastro’s application and will be providing oral reasons for her decision.

Sujata Raisinghani also says Cameron has decided to allow three victim impact statements to be considered in the case, “subject to judicial editing,” after Del Mastro’s lawyer contested the admissibility of ten such statements the Crown sought to put forward.

Del Mastro will appear before Cameron in Lindsay, Ont., on Thursday, where sentencing arguments are expected to be made in his case.

He 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.

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