Saturday, July 09, 2005

National Post: Grewal hands over more tapes to RCMP--Police probe extended

Grewal hands over more tapes to RCMP: Police probe extended

Simon Doyle (CanWest News Service)

July 9, 2005

OTTAWA - Embattled Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal handed over additional tapes to the RCMP within the past two weeks, a move that suggests the recorded talks between himself and senior Liberals that he had earlier made public were incomplete.

Mr. Grewal made recordings available in late May that showed he had been in talks with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin's chief of staff, about exchanging rewards, such as a Cabinet post or Senate seat, for crossing the floor or abstaining from key confidence votes.

At the time, the Conservatives insisted Mr. Grewal had handed over "all of the tapes" to Opposition leader Stephen Harper, and the party posted "the complete audio file" on to Mr. Grewal's Web site for public scrutiny. The party also said it would give the tapes to the RCMP.

However, the RCMP says it has received new tapes that will extend the original timeline of its review of the affair.

"We have received additional tapes from the previous tapes that we had," Sergeant Gilles Deziel said. The RCMP received the first batch on June 1, he said, one day after Mr. Grewal made the recordings available on his Web site. The police force said it received the newest batch of tapes within the past two weeks.

Mr. Grewal, Mr. Murphy and Mr. Dosanjh, now under investigation by ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro, are also under the scope of the RCMP to determine whether the matter deserves a formal investigation for possible violations of anti-bribery measures under the Criminal Code.

The Liberals have cried foul over the recordings, pointing to the comments of audio experts who said they had been edited.

"If true, it certainly serves to highlight the cautious, careful wisdom of Mr. Harper that the tapes were pristine, complete and unaltered," Scott Reid, Paul Martin's communications director, wrote in an e-mail. "We look forward to the release of the director's cut."


For the rest of the story, see the National Post (archived here).