Edmonton Journal

Del Mastro gets bail after a night in jail

- Glen McGregor

PETERBOROU­GH, ONT. — After spending a single night in jail, former Conservati­ve MP Dean Del Mastro walked out of the courthouse Friday, free on bail while he appeals his conviction for breaking the election law.

With consent of the Crown, Judge Drew Gunsolus agreed to bail of $5,000 with the condition that Del Mastro keep the peace and not leave Canada.

He is still prohibited from running as a federal candidate for five years.

Prosecutor Nick Devlin told the court the Crown did not believe Del Mastro was a risk to the public and that the appeal filed by defence lawyer Leo Adler did not appear to be frivolous, so there was no reason to oppose bail.

Del Mastro’s wife, Kelly, and their baby daughter, as well as several other relatives, were on hand in the small courtroom to watch the bail applicatio­n proceeding­s, which took about five minutes.

The night before, Del Mastro was jailed at the Central East Correction­al Centre in Lindsay, Ont. — a “super jail” that includes a maximum security wing.

He had been taken away Thursday from the courthouse in shackles after Judge Lisa Cameron sentenced him, adding a four-month conditiona­l sentence of house arrest and 18 months of probation.

He arrived back at court Friday, again in handcuffs, saying, “It’s a beautiful day in Peterborou­gh.”

Del Mastro was found to have overspent on his 2008 election campaign by about $20,000 by paying a voterconta­ct firm to make calls on his behalf. He was also found to have exceeded his own personal contributi­on limit, and to have filed a false report with the Elections Canada.

On June 3, Adler filed an appeal that alleged numerous errors by Cameron in her ruling finding Del Mastro guilty of three charges.

The lawyer also alleged that the investigat­ion by the commission­er of Canada Elections was “fraught with incompeten­ce” and failed to obtain or preserve key evidence, such as the long-distance telephone records of the Crown’s main witness, Frank Hall, who ran the voter-contact firm.

Although Adler’s appeal was filed before Del Mastro was sentenced, it also alleges that Cameron did not properly consider the sentencing guidelines for first-time offenders and asks the appellate court for a lesser sentence.

At the sentencing Thursday, Adler asked Cameron to allow Del Mastro to work two days a week in Toronto during his house arrest.

Cameron agreed to the condition.

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