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Former Nova Scotia minister pleads guilty in spending scandal case

Former Liberal MLA Russell MacKinnon arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 for a preliminary hearing on charges related to the Nova Scotia legislature spending scandal.

Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former Nova Scotia cabinet minister Russell MacKinnon has pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust for his role in the province's spending scandal.

MacKinnon entered the plea on the fourth day of his trial at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.

The former Liberal was expected to resume testimony today but the judge overseeing the case granted a temporary adjournment at the request of his defence lawyer.

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When the case resumed, MacKinnon entered his plea.

MacKinnon is one of four politicians charged two years ago following an investigation by the province's auditor general into constituency allowance spending.

Former Liberal Dave Wilson served four months in jail last year after admitting to defrauding the public purse of nearly $61,000.

Richard Hurlburt, a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, was sentenced to a year of house arrest after pleading guilty to charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Independent member Trevor Zinck is charged with theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.

His trial is scheduled to start in June.

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