Canada fraud trials to be delayed

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[Montreal] The fraud trials of Jean Brault and Chuck Guite, an adman and civil servant involved in Canada's sponsorship scandal, are likely to be postponed from October until May 2006, due to fears that jurors may be tainted by publicity surrounding the Nov. 1 release of the initial Gomery Report investigation into the disappearance of $83 million of $208 million in sponsorship funds funneled through ad and PR agencies. A Quebec Superior Court judge postponed the trials, but they could go ahead as scheduled if Canada's attorney general decides the cases could be heard by a judge alone. In the meantime, the government has decided to appeal the lenient community-service sentence given to adman Paul Coffin recently. He pleaded guilty and avoided jail time due to his remorse, repayment of more than $1 million and otherwise clean record.
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