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 Canada 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.

Casino charges
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 The licence was revoked after the investigation began.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. Search BBC