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Byelection bribery trial Day 6: Former Thibeault staffers testify today

Element of bribery case is whether Thibeault was offered inducements to join provincial Liberals
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Two former staffers for Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault are on the stand today in Sudbury as part of the Elections Act bribery trial. (File)

The Sudbury byelection bribery trial ongoing in the Nickel City for the past week continues today at a downtown courthouse.

Yesterday, the case's highest-profile candidate, Premier Kathleen Wynne, testified. 

She told the court that, as a candidate, she wasn't impressed with Andrew Olivier, the man whose habit of recording telephone conversation led to court case and accusations of bribery, but said the party felt he could still play a valuable role with the Liberals in other ways.

She denied he was offered inducements to step aside for her preferred candidate, current Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, saying she personally felt bad that Olivier was disappointed and wanted to keep him involved.

Wynne also testified that Thibeault was not offered a cabinet post for quitting the federal NDP to run for the provincial Liberals. In fact, she said she told him that wasn't on the table and he would have to gain experience at Queen's Park.

Protesters greeted the premier outside the courthouse on Cedar Street, monotonously chanting "Liar, liar, pants on fire" as Wynne made a brief statement to the throng of assembled reporters (the gist of the statement being she said everything she was going to say in court).

Today, two former Thibeault staffers, Brian Band and Darrell Marsh, take the stand. 

In his opening statement last week, federal prosecutor David McKercher said in exchange for crossing the floor, Thibeault wanted paid positions for two of his staffers, as well as income replacement for himself, as well as full support of the Liberals.

Presumably, Band and Marsh will be asked about those accusations on the stand today.

Tomorrow, former Greater Sudbury mayor Marianne Matichuk is expected to take the stand.

Today is Day 6 of the bribery trial involving Liberal fundraiser Gerry Lougheed Jr. and former Liberal campaign director Patricia Sorbara. Both are accused of offering inducements to Olivier not to be a candidate in the byelection, an offence under Ontario's Elections Act. Sorbara is also accused of offering Glenn Thibeault inducements to leave the federal NDP and run for the provincial Liberals in Sudbury.



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