Trial extended for ex-Brampton MP accused of breach of trust to pay gambling debts


Published July 26, 2022 at 12:14 pm

The trial for former Liberal MP Raj Grewal, who stands accused of using his political office for personal financial gain, will extend until at least this fall. Grewal makes his way to court, Monday, July 18, 2022 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

The trial of a former Brampton MP who allegedly used his political office to help pay off gambling debts will continue into the fall.

Raj Grewal is the former Liberal MP for the riding of Brampton East and was charged by the RCMP with breach of trust in September 2020 over allegations he used his position to solicit millions of dollars in loans he did not disclose to the ethics commissioner.

Grewal publicly acknowledged his gambling problem in 2018 when he left the Liberal caucus, but denies any criminal wrongdoing.

The former MP’s trial on two breach of trust charges has seen the Crown suggest Grewal offered help with visas or special access to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in exchange for financial help from friends and businesspeople in his riding.

RELATED: Crown probes ex-Brampton MP Raj Grewal’s guest list for India receptions with Justin Trudeau

The court has also heard Grewal allegedly got so agitated while playing blackjack that his actions led a casino supervisor to write up a formal security report about the incident.

The outcome of Grewal’s case is now left hanging for an extended hiatus, with further hearings tentatively scheduled for November.

A witness testified last week that they expected no favours in return for a $200,000 loan to Grewal shortly before attending a private meet-and-greet with Trudeau in India.

Ontario business owner Yusuf Yenilmez told an Ontario court during cross-examination that he needed no help from Grewal in accessing Liberal officials and had met Trudeau five or six other times.

Yenilmez and several other Brampton-based witnesses told the court that they provided the large sums because they trusted Grewal and considered him to be a friend — and stated that they’d provided similar amounts to other trusted friends in the past.

Days after his split from the Liberals, Grewal issued a video statement saying he had a gambling addiction and had racked up millions of dollars in debts which had all been repaid.

With files from The Canadian Press

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising