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Ex-Liberal MP invited lenders to private meeting with Trudeau

Raj Grewal faces two charges of breach of trust

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OTTAWA — Two Ontario businessmen say they each loaned former Liberal MP Raj Grewal $200,000 before they were asked to join a 2018 trip to India with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Brampton Tire Center owner Andy Dhugga told an Ottawa court today that he has known Grewal’s family for a long time, and Grewal asked him for the money in the summer of 2017, saying that he had to repay a different loan.

A former Liberal political staffer testified earlier that Dhugga and businessman Yusuf Yenilmez, who told the court he also lent Grewal money, were both on a five-man shortlist guests whom Grewal had invited to participate in a private meeting with Trudeau in New Delhi.

The former MP faces two charges of breach of trust, with the Crown alleging he used his political office for personal gain and offered him access to the trip in return for money he used to pay off large gambling debts.

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Grewal was elected to represent Brampton East for the Liberal Party in 2015 and resigned from his caucus three years later when his gambling problem came to light.

The former MP denied any wrongdoing and said at the time of his resignation that he had sought treatment for his gambling addiction and paid all his debts.