Monday, September 19, 2005

Imprisoned Liberal Mafioso Count holding steady at Zero

In Canada, defrauding the federal government of $1,556,625 lands you a conditional sentence. Apparently theft and fraud is excusable if you were under the employ of the government at the time of the offence:

Paul Coffin, the first person convicted of fraud in the federal sponsorship scandal, has received a conditional sentence of two years less a day, to be served in the community.

Coffin, the president of Coffin Communications, must obey a curfew of 9 p.m. on weekdays and must also speak publicly about his experience.

Coffin pleaded guilty to 15 of the 18 counts of fraud laid against him in September 2003. Under the plea agreement reached in May, he admitted to helping defraud the federal government of $1,556,625 between 1997 and 2002.

In August, he told a sentencing hearing that he had repaid $1 million to Ottawa by taking out a mortgage on his home, getting loans from friends and cashing in an RRSP.

"I would like to apologize to all Canadians,'' Coffin told the Montreal court, adding he was ashamed of what he had done.
He said he was sorry. That fixes everything doesn't it? Paul Coffin is sorry because he knowingly engaged in fraud but now he has been caught, he understands what he did was wrong and he promises never to do it again; just like Svend Robinson is sorry he stole that ring, but his mind made him do it, so he's seeking psychiatric help to control his uncontrollable urge to take things that do not belong to him.
The only other two people charged in the sponsorship program are former Groupaction executive Jean Brault and former federal bureaucrat Chuck Guite. Their joint trial is expected to begin on Oct. 3.

The judge in charge of those trials, Justice Fraser Martin, has said he may have to sequester the jury for weeks or delay the trial because of a report due out on the sponsorship scandal.

Justice John Gomery, who headed up the inquiry into the scandal, is due to release his first report on Nov. 1. That could put mean it will come out in the middle of the trial.
It's unlikely that report will be delayed.

Gomery's final report on the scandal has been pushed back six weeks, setting an anticipated release date of Feb. 1. That will affect the timing of a federal election, which Prime Minister Paul Martin has promised to call 30 days after the report goes public.
Is the state dreaming of another publication ban or will the remaining trial and final report simply be delayed indefinitely? Comrade Martin understands that elections are a bother to Canadians. He will do his part to ensure that Canadians will never be asked to participate in election day ever again. The procedure is all rather pointless anyway, as the Liberals are sure to win. The Party has been with us for so long now, that they've become part of the very fabric of the nation; the level of equality and unity that has been achieved must not be imperiled by calling an election.