This week, an operations supervisor Jacques Bouchard, from Casino Lac-Leamy testified in former Liberal MP Raj Grewal’s trial in an Ottawa courtroom. The gaming employee shared that the former MP used to get quite agitated when playing blackjack at the casino’s table four years ago. And the trial is set to continue next week.
Back in September 2020, the RCMP charged Mr. Grewal with four counts of breach of trust and one of fraud. Prior to that, the former Liberal MP released a video in which he admitted that he suffers from gambling addiction and had accumulated millions of dollars in debt and that this was the reason for committing the alleged crimes.
First Week of the Trial Commences
In court, Mr. Grewal is represented by his lawyer Nader Hasan, who on Thursday, in a written statement shared that two of his client’s charges were withdrawn on Monday. This was the first day of Mr. Grewal’s trial. In addition to that, the lawyer has also shared that a third charge was also withdrawn before the beginning of the former MP’s trial.
Mr. Hasan commented that the prospect of a trial has hung over his client’s head for a while, and that they plan to present a solid defense over the course of the trial. He also claims that they are quite confident of proving Mr. Grewal’s complete innocence over the charges for the breaches of trust and it will become clear for everyone that he is not guilty.
On Thursday, Casino Lac Leamy’s operations supervisor Mr. Bouchard stated that he had seen Mr. Grewal in the casino several times. But one time on May 30, 2018 at around 11:30 he noticed that the former MP had become quite agitated while playing blackjack. After the incident he submitted a security investigation report, in which he mentioned that Mr. Grewal claimed that he should be winning if he got 19 or 20 points.
In the report, the casino employee explains that he overheard comments from the former Liberal such as “Come on, have an ace”, “Take all my money”, or “Why didn’t I left after the first 100K?” However, after cross-examination from the lawyer, Mr. Bouchard admitted that the comments may not be completely accurate, as a native English speaker would not use grammatically incorrect phrases.
Taking Advantage of His Position
The September 2020 charges came from allegations that the former MP used his position to solicit millions of Canadian dollars in loans, that he did not disclose to the ethics commissioner, and misused MP office funds. At the start of 2018, the federal ethics commissioner started an investigation into Mr. Grewal’s disclosures, but the inquiry ended when the criminal charges were laid.
In 2019, the former MP commented that he wanted to clarify the situation around a controversy on a fundraising event. He shared that the fundraiser managed to accumulate approximately CA$285,000. People were concerned as during that time his addiction was in full swing. But he explained that not all 1,200 of the guests paid for their CA$500 tickets, thus the lower sum.
Source: Rabson, Mia “Casino supervisor tells court that former MP became agitated over blackjack losses”, Niagara Falls Review, June 9, 2022