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Crown lacks evidence in proving case against former clerk: defence


James has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of breach of trust by a public officer based on allegations of misspending stemming from his time serving as clerk between 2011 and 2018.

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VANCOUVER — A lawyer for British Columbia’s former clerk of the legislative assembly says the Crown has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his client is guilty of any crimes.

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Gavin Cameron says two people still stand by their decisions on Craig James receiving a retirement benefit of $258,000, and two others followed policy in approving his travel expense claims.

James has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of breach of trust by a public officer based on allegations of misspending stemming from his time serving as clerk between 2011 and 2018.

Cameron has told a B.C. Supreme Court judge that James did not have corrupt or improper motives and some decisions involving finances were made based on subjective views in the absence of a clear, written policy.

However, he says the Crown has latched on to the term “protocol” to try to prove its case against James, who resigned three years ago after being suspended in 2018 when the RCMP began investigating.

Cameron also says there is no evidence suggesting a document is fraudulent in connection with an expense claim for a suit James bought in the United Kingdom before the possible modernization of the attire worn in the legislature.



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