Thursday, March 30, 2006

Adscam: A Fool For A Client

Watching a self-represented litigant or defendant bumble his way through court proceedings can provide low comedy or high tragedy, depending on the situation and intelligence of the person so involved.

One suspects that Chuck Guité will provide plenty of both if he tries to defend himself throughout his fraud trial:

Saying he can't afford to hire a lawyer, former federal bureaucrat Chuck Guité has told a judge he will represent himself when his sponsorship program fraud trial begins in May.

Chuck Guité, who was in charge of the notorious federal sponsorship program, faces five counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy. (CP file photo)
Guité, the federal bureaucrat responsible for the sponsorship program in the 1990s, was in a courtroom in Montreal on Wednesday to learn more about how the proceedings will go.

He told Justice Fraser Martin of the Quebec Superior Court that he spends a few hours each day preparing for the trial, and has gone through about half the evidence marshalled against him so far.

Martin said Guité's decision to represent himself puts the court in a bad position, but he said he'll do his best to keep things fair.

As well as recommending the defendant pick up copies of the Criminal Code of Canada and the Canada Evidence Act, the judge suggested some legal websites that Guité might want to check out before jury selection begins on May 4.

All those ill-gotten gains, all those friends in high places, and yet he can't afford a lawyer or get someone to pay for one. How far and fast he has fallen!

Source: CBC

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