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May 1, 2017

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Tory campaigner guilty of Canada election fraud

OTTAWA--A 25-year-old campaign worker on Thursday became the sole person to be convicted in an election fraud that cast suspicion on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2011 win.

Michael Sona was found guilty of "willfully preventing or endeavoring to prevent an elector from voting at an election," said a statement.

He faces up to five years in prison and, or a US$5,000 fine at a sentencing hearing on October 17.

The conviction is the first ever in Canada for such a crime.

"It's a very serious crime for people to interfere with the democratic rights of citizens in this country to exercise their right to vote," prosecutor Croft Michaelson said outside a Guelph, Ontario courthouse.

"We view this as a very serious offense and ... we'll be making very forceful submissions on sentencing in October," he said.

A probe into "robocalls" that misdirected Canadian voters to fake polling stations during the last election had dominated headlines in this country.

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