Crown in Mark Norman case rejects allegations of political influence
|CTVnews 15 Feb 2019 at 11:21|
OTTAWA - The Crown is releasing a clean set of previously censored documents to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman s lawyers as the federal prosecution service rejects concerns about the possibility of high-level, political influence over the prosecution.
Norman was suspended as the military s second-in-command in 2017 and charged last March with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets to undermine cabinet s decision-making process on a major shipbuilding deal.
He denies any wrongdoing.
On Monday, Norman s legal team raised questions about the independence of federal prosecutors after the Crown and lawyers from the department that supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke several times last year about what one prosecutor called "trial strategy."
But today prosecutor John MacFarlane says there was nothing untoward about the discussions between the Crown and Privy Council Office officials -- and he insists the talks were about finding a witness for the trial because the PCO is the department responsible for handling cabinet confidences.
MacFarlane says he is providing the defence unredacted copies of notes taken by the Crown during those talks with PCO to provide complete transparency to Norman s lawyers.