Monday, March 13, 2006

Camouflaged responsibility

Usually, those accused of criminal behaviour have to pay for a defense lawyer out of their own pockets. For example, the city of London won't be paying the legal fees of the camouflage bandit if and when he is caught.

Taxpayers are picking up the tab for more than $1.3 million in legal fees to help Jean Chretien and two top aides, Jean Pelletier and Jean Carle, defend their actions in the sponsorship affair, government documents show.

A little more than $700,000 is earmarked to pay legal counsel for Alfonso Gagliano, the former public works minister, according to the documents obtained under the Access to Information Act.

And more than $170,000 is going to cover legal bills for Chuck Guite, the disgraced former bureaucrat who ran the sponsorship program and now faces criminal charges.