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Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara faces assault, break and enter, harassment charges


OTTAWA — Ontario MP Marwan Tabbara "stepped back" from the governing Liberal caucus Friday after multiple charges of assault, break and enter and harassment were laid against him.

In a statement issued late Friday, the two-term MP for the riding of Kitchener South-Hespeler said he's receiving counselling for anxiety and depression.

"Other than to state unequivocally that every incident of violence is unacceptable and inexcusable, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further while this matter is before the court," he said.

Tabbara said he deplores "violence in all its forms" and believes "strongly in the right of every individual to live a life free of the hurt and trauma of physical, verbal or emotional abuse."

"I am currently facing criminal charges which arose in April. There are mandatory steps that must be taken to address a criminal case, and those steps take time, particularly with delays due to the pandemic," he added.

"Meanwhile, I continue to receive counselling and treatment for anxiety and depression, which I have been living with for some time."

Tabbara has been charged with two counts of assault, one count of breaking and entering to commit an indictable offence, and one count of criminal harassment. The charges follow his arrest on April 10 in Guelph, Ont.

Until the matter is resolved, Tabbara said he "will be stepping back from the Liberal caucus." He promised to "continue to work diligently" for his constituents.

The Prime Minister's Office said it only learned about the charges Friday morning and was "looking into the matter."

Tabbara, first elected in 2015 and re-elected last fall, is scheduled to appear in court June 19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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