NS: Case of former Liberal accused in spending scandal heads to court

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By The Canadian Press

Russell MacKinnon plans to fight the charges he faces which involve fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents.

Russell MacKinnon arrives at Halifax Provincial court in this January file photo.

[HALIFAX, NS] — The case of a former Nova Scotia Liberal politician charged in the province's spending scandal is due in court in Halifax today.

Russell MacKinnon was committed last month to stand trial on charges of fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents.

His lawyer, Joel Pink, has said that MacKinnon will fight the charges.

Pink said last month there was no chance of his client pleading guilty.

The Cape Breton politician elected trial by Supreme Court judge alone during a court appearance last year.

He is one of four Nova Scotia politicians charged in February 2011 in the spending scandal.

Former Liberal Dave Wilson pleaded guilty in September to uttering forged documents and one count each of fraud and breach of trust. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 30.

A lawyer for former Tory cabinet minister Richard Hurlburt said last month that his client intends to plead guilty in April to fraud and breach of trust.

A preliminary hearing is set to begin June 11 for Trevor Zinck, a former NDP member who now sits as an Independent. He faces charges of fraud over $5,000, breach of trust and two counts of theft over $5,000.

Organizations: MacKinnon, Supreme Court, NDP

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton

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