Casino Scandal Brings Down Premier
The BBC's Ian Gunn
Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 09:03 GMT
Charges over Canada casino scandal
Glen Clark: I'm innocent
The former premier of the Canada's province of British Columbia
has been charged with fraud and breach of trust after a scandal
that forced him from office last year.
Glen Clark resigned following allegations he helped a friend win a
lucrative casino licence.
Mr. Glen Clark:
"I'm innocent and I intend to prove that in court"
Mr Clark denies all the allegations and says he will prove his
innocence in court.
Police searched his Vancouver home in March 1999, when he was
still premier. Television cameras were there to watch the
surprised Mr Clark and his wife answering the door - the pictures
played across the country for days.
At the time, police said Mr Clark was not being investigated, but
might unknowingly have had important evidence in a fraud case. A
few months later, they changed their minds and admitted the
premier was under investigation.
Mr Clark resigned a few hours later, the third premier of the
western province to be driven out of office by controversy in less
than 10 years. He remains a member of the provincial legislature.
Now, after an 18-month investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police have laid two charges against Mr Clark: fraud and breach of
trust. Each carries a maximum sentence of five years.
Police allege friend and neighbour Dimitrios Pilarinos offered the
premier 15% of the proceeds from a casino in return for help in
having the casino licence approved. The licence was revoked after
the investigation began.
Mr Pilarinos faces nine charges, including offering a bribe.
"This has been a complex investigation," said Royal
Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Grant Learned.
Mr Clark and Mr Pilarinos are to appear in court on 17 November.