Jury hearing Jacques Corriveau's fraud case receives final instructions Thursday

The jury hearing the case of ex-federal Liberal organizer Jacques Corriveau is to receive final instructions from the judge today.
    
Corriveau is charged with fraud against the government, forgery and laundering proceeds of crime.
    
The Crown alleged Corriveau, 83, set up a kickback system on contracts awarded during the sponsorship program and used his Pluri Design Canada Inc. firm to defraud the federal government.
    
Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-Francois Buffoni will deliver final instructions this morning at the Montreal courthouse before the jury is sequestered.
   
Corriveau did not take the stand at the trial, which began in mid-September.
    
The sponsorship program was intended to increase the federal government's presence in Quebec after the No side's slim victory in the 1995 sovereignty referendum.
    
The Gomery Commission, which looked into the program, found that firms were winning contracts based on donations to the federal Liberals, with little work being done.
    
Corriveau testified in 2005 at the inquiry, which ultimately led to the demise of the Liberals' hold on power.
    
He was a very close friend of former prime minister Jean Chretien and worked on his campaigns.