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OTTAWA — Office contracts that suspended senator Mike Duffy awarded for services ranging from speech writing to makeup are being reviewed in an Ottawa courtroom.

Duffy faces 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

One set of charges relates to $65,000 in payments that were made to different contractors, allegedly through an umbrella fund set up with longtime Duffy friend Gerald Donohue.

Prosecutor Jason Neubauer is questioning Senate human resources officer Sonia Makhlouf, who directly reviewed Duffy’s service contract requests.

The Crown has alleged that Duffy worked through Donohue to avoid the scrutiny of Senate officials.

Defence lawyer Donald Bayne last week said that Duffy is perhaps guilty of only administrative errors, and there’s no evidence of criminal behaviour.

The Canadian Press

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