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VAdm Norman - Supply Ship contract: Legal fight

BeyondTheNow

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Ok folks (although humourous), keep it on topic.

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Rifleman62

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https://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-the-shipshow-prosecution-that-mark-norman-is-facing?video_autoplay=true

Christie Blatchford: The shipshow prosecution that Mark Norman is facing
- 12 Dec 18
  The PCO is not only is the complainant, but also the key witness and the guardian of much of the information Norman needs to defend himself

OTTAWA — For all that the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman bears a resemblance to the prosecution of Senator Mike Duffy — in that the RCMP is the investigator, that breach of trust was a central charge against Duffy and is in Norman’s case the only one, and that the whole kit and caboodle appears polluted with politics — there is one key point of departure and it makes all the difference.
The Conservative Senator, of course, was acquitted of a raft of criminal charges, but his voracious reputation for latching upon the public teat with alacrity and determination — the very quality that saw him fall from asset to embarrassment in the party’s view — was never dented.

Norman, on the other hand, is the former vice-chief of the defence staff and thus second-in-command of the Canadian Forces whose sin was to serve Canada in uniform for more than three decades. He practically drips with propriety (though the emails the police seized and which prosecutors have disclosed reveal he blessedly also has a sailor’s ability to swear, once referring to the mess at the heart of this case as a “f—ing gong show”) that I cannot help but think that the way I accidentally refer to him (Vice-Admirable) is highly fitting.

As for the shipshow itself, in 2014, when Canada lost both aging Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) vessels — these are basically at-sea gas stations for ships that can’t get to a port of call — there was an urgent need for a replacement. These had been ordered already by the-then government of Stephen Harper, but a fire on the second AOR left Canada with a larger gap than expected before replacements would be delivered (delivery of those ships, as seems the norm with many Canadian Forces equipment contracts, is delayed), and the government decided to go with a sole-source contract for a single ship with Chantier Davie and formally entered into a preliminary contract with the Quebec company.

Norman is accused of a single count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet confidences and other confidential information to a CBC journalist and to a representative of Davie who was also a friend, Spencer Fraser. Alas and alack, there was a change of government shortly after the contract was signed, and Justin Trudeau and the Liberals took power. The new government quickly convened an ad hoc committee to review the contract, and despite the recommendation from key ministers and the civil service that it proceed, committee co-chair Scott Brison, the president of Treasury Board then and now, started raising the possibility of delaying it.
Brison is the MP for Kings-Hants, in Nova Scotia, coincidentally home to Irving Shipbuilding, a key Davie competitor, which bitched to a number of ministers, including Brison, about the Davie contract.

According to defence documents, it is Brison’s statement to the RCMP that is the “central basis” for the allegation against Norman. On Nov. 19, 2015, two days after getting the Irving letter, the ad hoc committee met and decided to request a 60-day delay to reconsider the contract. It was that decision — and the $89-million penalty that would be incurred if the final contract wasn’t signed — that was reported in the media, allegedly leaked by Norman. Essentially, that reporting of the whopping penalty price sufficiently shamed the new government that it signed the contract; the ship was delivered on time.

But as it turns out, when the bureaucracy that supports the prime minister and cabinet, the powerful Privy Council Office (PCO), investigated, it found that guess what, at least 42 people knew about the committee discussion beforehand (six of the leaks related to the ad hoc committee itself) and 73 knew about the result — the proposed delay — and at least one of the alleged leakers has been identified by name in defence material recently filed in court.

In other words, it was SNAFU (Situation Normal All F—ed Up) for gossipy, perpetually leaking Ottawa, where information is better than currency, and a simple hello, as a wise man once told me, has a greasy transactional feel. But of huge concern to Norman’s lawyers — the formidable Marie Henein at the helm — is that it’s the same PCO which not only is the complainant in the case (the PCO referred the matter to the RCMP), but also the key witness and, as Ontario Court Judge Heather Perkins-McVey heard Wednesday, the controller and guardian of much of the information Norman needs to defend himself.

Imagine if a complainant in a sexual assault trial, naturally the key witness, also got to determine the course of the prosecution and vet the documents and decide which are relevant and which are not. (For one thing, Jian Ghomeshi would have been convicted, had that happened in the last high-profile case Henein ran.) Now give that complainant/witness the shield of being able to claim cabinet confidence or secrecy, and you get a hint of what team Henein is facing here. It is always the prosecution that bears the burden of disclosing relevant documents, not the defence, yet here, Henein has laid out her defence in detail, for the world to see, while prosecutors have hemmed and hawed, dragged their collective feet, declined to meet the defence team, dilly-dallied, shucked and jived.

The parties are in court now on a defence application to get some of those records. Yet even Wednesday, despite the judge’s suggestion the lawyers (three from the defence, three federal prosecutors, three from the Department of Justice) meet over lunch, when she returned to court and cheerfully asked “Were you able to use the time?”, Henein stood up and said, “Nope.” “After Your Honour directed us to meet…we didn’t…” As Henein snapped furiously to prosecutor Barbara Mercier, just before the judge walked in, “The judge says go in and meet and you refuse to meet… This is intolerable.” The shipshow continues Thursday.

 

FSTO

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I saw the VAdm yesterday as he was heading to court in full regalia, too bad he wouldn't be allowed to carry a sword (in the scabbard of course!). Just about rolled down the window to shout a "GIVE EM HELL ADMIRAL!" but chickened out!
 

Rifleman62

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http://nationalpost.pressreader.com/national-post-latest-edition/20181214/textview

Vice-admiral now fights for own memos
- 14 Dec 18 - NP Christie Blatchford

Now, the squad of prosecutors and justice lawyers lined up against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the former commander of the Canadian Navy, have said very little at this week’s proceeding here. In fairness, what the court is hearing is a defence application for production of third-party records Norman’s lawyers say they need to defend him on a single charge of breach of trust, which means it’s on the defence to do most of the talking. So it is within the realm of possibility that when one of the six government lawyers does stand up to say something substantial, he or she may be able to offer an explanation for some of the documents they don’t want Norman’s defence to have.

But it strains credulity to imagine one for why the government is actually fighting handing over to the defence Norman’s own Outlook calendar and the notes and communications with his former staff about the once-disputed interim Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (iAOR) ship that is at the centre of the charge against him. (The ship is no longer disputed, having been delivered, astonishingly in the world of military procurement, on time and on budget.) Without AORs, which are basically floating gas stations, a navy is reduced to the status of a coast guard, unable to meet its international obligations.

“The Department of Justice suggests if memos were sent to VAdm Norman, he should have them,” defence lawyer Christine Mainville told Ontario Court Judge Heather Perkins-McVey Thursday. Then with magnificent snark, Mainville added, “They seem to forget they suspended him from his duties” (in January of 2017) and thus Norman has no access to his 2014-2015 archived emails and notes. As Perkins-McVey said in her mild way, “It’s hard to imagine his own communications wouldn’t have relevance.” Thus has a document fight been rendered a theatre of the absurd. How can anyone accused of a crime properly defend himself if he can’t have access to the very calendar which would tell him what appointments he had, who he saw, what people he met four years earlier?

It’s just one of the rich aspects of this curious case. Norman has been accused of leaking confidential information — the only one criminally charged — yet it appears that even beyond what is the norm for Ottawa, all around him, even before him, a great many others had comparable information and were also busily leaking it. Norman is charged with leaking information about the accursed AOR ship to a CBC reporter and to a former colleague in the navy who was now working for Chartier Davie, the Quebec company that built the ship and whose proposal had convinced the then-government of Stephen Harper to change the rules to allow the contract to be awarded on a sole source basis.

The RCMP investigation even identified and named the people involved who did give the reporter the actual Memorandum to Cabinet and, for good measure, the slide deck. The material came from a government analyst who handed it off to a big lobbyist (working for Davie), who then told the reporter he could swing by and pick up the brown envelope. It had naught to do with Mark Norman.

Yet, as the defence said in its application, the government analyst wasn’t charged, though recently, he was apparently suspended. The CBC reporter who got the documents and wrote the story was, the very week Norman was charged, hired by the Liberal government, first in the Department of National Defence, then later moved to the Ministry of Democratic Institutions. Yet prosecutors argue in their factum that “focusing on what others thought or did is a needless and irrelevant exercise.” In other words, the judge ought not to worry what the other kids did, just about what Norman allegedly did. So much for the old “no man is an island” wisdom; the state says Norman was that island. Why on earth would the government pick on him, this honourable fellow who isn’t alleged to have benefited personally in any way and who served the country for 35 years in uniform?

Well, say defence lawyers Mainville, Marie Henein and Maya Borooah, the answer is found in Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison, then and now president of the Treasury Board. One of the Harper government’s last acts, on the very day of the Oct. 19, 2015, election, was to sign a preliminary contract with Chartier Davie. It had an $89-million penalty clause if the contract wasn’t finalized. The new Trudeau government was sworn in, in early November 2015. One of its first acts was to swear in an ad hoc committee to review the Davie deal. The committee was slated to meet Nov. 19.

Two days before, Irving Shipbuilders sent a letter to a number of key ministers, including Brison, urging the government not to sign the contract with Davie, their competitor. At that meeting, it was Brison who pressed for a delay in signing the contract, ostensibly so the new government could do its due diligence. The defence says it was Brison, allegedly close to the powerful Irvings and whose Nova Scotia riding is next door to the main Irving shipyard, who was “behind the effort to delay and potentially terminate the Davie agreement.” Brison told the RCMP, this about Norman’s alleged conduct, that why, he had never seen such a leak of cabinet confidences in his 20 years in federal politics. As Mainville told the judge, perhaps “Minister Brison has forgotten the RCMP investigation into his own leaking,” back in 2006. Brison was never charged, and his explanation, Mainville said, “was that all he was doing was saying something everyone already knew about.” D’oh.

The case continues Friday.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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FSTO said:
I saw the VAdm yesterday as he was heading to court in full regalia, too bad he wouldn't be allowed to carry a sword (in the scabbard of course!). Just about rolled down the window to shout a "GIVE EM HELL ADMIRAL!" but chickened out!

You should have! You have no idea how much that would have been appreciated, particularly by someone like Mark. When you are caught in something like this, it feels like you're on your own and no one cares for what happens to you. Would have been good for his morale.

When this is all over, I would not be surprised if he returned his job - having had his office reset exactly as it was - for one day then retire honourably, only to become the second admiral in the RCN for whom the signal BZ will fly from every port-outer yardarm.

Now, Christie Blatchford is a great (and respected) judicial reporter and people like her are important in our system of governance. One concept that is critical to our criminal law system is the concept that "justice must be done and seen to be done".

Now for the most part, this concept is used to justify that as a rule, trials should be opened to the public. But there is more to it than that. It also serves to show the public a conduct that is unacceptable in society and the retribution that comes with it. It serves to "enrage" the population- so to speak - who ought to come out of the process thinking "how dare you did this, now we'll punish you". In short the population must see the criminality of the acts of the accused.

And for me, this is the biggest hurdle for the Government in this case: The public just can't see any problem with the Admiral's deportment.  He did not gain anything personally; he didn't do anything that the public can see as a breach of trust to the nation (as opposed to one political party's - which is irrelevant as we don't serve parties) nor any deportment that is not common practice in Ottawa. All he ever did, if anything, is work to deliver something badly needed, and already contracted for, on budget and in time. In brief, there is nothing that the public can get enraged about.

This could become a lot of fun ... but not for the government which probably wishes now that they had not gone barker with frustration and started this process with a complaint when they were a "young" government.
 

FSTO

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
You should have! You have no idea how much that would have been appreciated, particularly by someone like Mark. When you are caught in something like this, it feels like you're on your own and no one cares for what happens to you. Would have been good for his morale.

When this is all over, I would not be surprised if he returned his job - having had his office reset exactly as it was - for one day then retire honourably, only to become the second admiral in the RCN for whom the signal BZ will fly from every port-outer yardarm.

Now, Christie Blatchford is a great (and respected) judicial reporter and people like her are important in our system of governance. One concept that is critical to our criminal law system is the concept that "justice must be done and seen to be done".

Now for the most part, this concept is used to justify that as a rule, trials should be opened to the public. But there is more to it than that. It also serves to show the public a conduct that is unacceptable in society and the retribution that comes with it. It serves to "enrage" the population- so to speak - who ought to come out of the process thinking "how dare you did this, now we'll punish you". In short the population must see the criminality of the acts of the accused.

And for me, this is the biggest hurdle for the Government in this case: The public just can't see any problem with the Admiral's deportment.  He did not gain anything personally; he didn't do anything that the public can see as a breach of trust to the nation (as opposed to one political party's - which is irrelevant as we don't serve parties) nor any deportment that is not common practice in Ottawa. All he ever did, if anything, is work to deliver something badly needed, and already contracted for, on budget and in time. In brief, there is nothing that the public can get enraged about.

This could become a lot of fun ... but not for the government which probably wishes now that they had not gone barker with frustration and started this process with a complaint when they were a "young" government.

Next chance I get, I'll give him a cheer!

In the fine tradition of Hose and Landymore, this Naval Officer decided that for the good of the service he needed to take action to ensure a vital capability was seen to fruition. That he is now in a public fight against his political masters to retain his honour is something that many in the chattering class cannot seem to wrap their heads around. The PM initially talked out of his arse about going to court and now his boy slick Scotty may be the one to eventually take the hit for the team instead of Vice Admiral Norman.
 

Halifax Tar

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FSTO said:
I saw the VAdm yesterday as he was heading to court in full regalia, too bad he wouldn't be allowed to carry a sword (in the scabbard of course!). Just about rolled down the window to shout a "GIVE EM HELL ADMIRAL!" but chickened out!

Would I be in breach of some regulation if I did the same, seeing as I am still in uniform ? 
 

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Halifax Tar said:
Would I be in breach of some regulation if I did the same, seeing as I am still in uniform ?

Failing all else couldn't you just come to attention, salute and yell out "Sir!"?
 

suffolkowner

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Colin P said:
My disdain for DOJ grows another branch

The parallels with the Duffy case are kinda uncanny. I would say from the general public's point of view Vice-Admiral Norman has a better reputation than Senator Duffy's. I remember at the time of the Duffy case commenting on this site as to what his actual crime was as I just couldn't see it with my limited exposure to the "evidence". This case seems to be building up to exceed even the Duffy's trial for...?, incompetence,prejudice,political interference?

I know that some on this site have commented in the past that cases like this are beyond politics, however that is clearly not how it appears.

What are the consequences for the crown etc. when they proceed with these cases. What is the public benefit? I am not suggesting that the crown only try cases that they believe they have a 90% chance of winning, but to try individuals that the trial judge determines should never have been charged in the first place and that another should have in his place? I think we should demand and expect a much higher standard than that. The Jian Ghomeshi trial was another high profile case that really brought to the forefront some questionable decisions and actions by the Crown. For many of these individuals the damage to their public image may be irreparable but at least they appear to have the ability to somewhat weather the storm financially. How many ordinary Canadians could say the same? From my limited exposure to the justice system through some of my employees experiences re. DUI's, bar fights etc.. it seems like a pattern that pervades the entire system from the most minor of charges to the most serious and newsworthy. Can the above all be reduced to don't get charged but if you do for heaven's sake at least be wealthy?

I could go on for ever but I hope some one can explain what actually is going on in our criminal justice system, in the meantime I have seen enough now that I will contribute to Vice-Admiral Norman's defence financially like many others if that option is still available


 

FJAG

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suffolkowner said:
The parallels with the Duffy case are kinda uncanny. I would say from the general public's point of view Vice-Admiral Norman has a better reputation than Senator Duffy's. I remember at the time of the Duffy case commenting on this site as to what his actual crime was as I just couldn't see it with my limited exposure to the "evidence". This case seems to be building up to exceed even the Duffy's trial for...?, incompetence,prejudice,political interference?

On the Duffy related tangent "Ontario court dismisses Mike Duffy's $8M lawsuit against Senate"

An Ontario Superior Court judge has dismissed Mike Duffy's $8 million lawsuit against the Senate of Canada, arguing the Red Chamber and its members are protected by parliamentary privilege — making them immune from this sort of judicial scrutiny.

The decision is a blow to Duffy — who still represents P.E.I. in the Senate — as he has sought some financial compensation for his bruising, years-long battle to clear his name following accusations of improper spending.
. . .

See here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker-duffy-court-dismisses-lawsuit-1.4947173

:subbies:
 

Retired AF Guy

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suffolkowner said:
The Jian Ghomeshi trial was another high profile case that really brought to the forefront some questionable decisions and actions by the Crown.

The problem with the Ghomeshi case had nothing to do with the Crown's presentation, it was the fact that the Crown's witness' either lied or withheld information from the police and the Crown.
 

suffolkowner

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Retired AF Guy said:
The problem with the Ghomeshi case had nothing to do with the Crown's presentation, it was the fact that the Crown's witness' either lied or withheld information from the police and the Crown.

I get that the witnesses' were of questionable value in the end to the crown's case. Perhaps the crown could have done some witness prep in anticipation as the women in question brought up. Obviously Ghomeshi and Marie Henein played things close to the vest so that Ghomeshi could have his exoneration in court.
 

Cloud Cover

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The witnesses were the victims, so they were the very crux of the Crowns case.  There are distant parallels. Back to Duffy, does this comment from the decision of the criminal trial ring familiar with Norman? “6. 'The political, covert, relentless, unfolding of events is mind-boggling and shocking. The precision and planning of the exercise would make any military commander proud. However, in the context of a democratic society, the plotting as revealed in the emails can only be described as unacceptable.' 
Perhaps the wrong person has been arrested and charged.
 

Rifleman62

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http://nationalpost.pressreader.com/national-post-latest-edition/20181215/textview

Norman’s lawyers seek Trudeau correspondence - National Post- 15 Dec 18 - Brian Platt
    Defence alleges possible political motivation

OTTAWA • Crown prosecutors urged an Ottawa judge on Friday to keep the scope of the criminal case against Vice Admiral Mark Norman narrow — and thus avoid forcing the disclosure of reams of government documents ahead of the trial. Among the documents at stake are communications to and from the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the subject of the investigation and prosecution of Norman. Norman’s lawyer Marie Henein alleges the case may have been politically motivated, and needs the documents to prove it.

Norman, once the second highest officer in Canada’s military, has been charged with leaking cabinet secrets over the course of a year to keep a $700-million navy procurement project with Davie Shipbuilding on track. Ahead of his trial, scheduled for next August, Justice Heather Perkins-McVey must decide how much government disclosure Norman needs in order to fully defend himself. For three days, Norman’s defence team has been making its case for why it needs access to documents held by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, the Department of National Defence and other government departments.

Friday was the Crown’s first chance to make submissions, but first the court heard a barrage of allegations from Henein about the government’s involvement in the case. Henein filed an exhibit consisting of emails between a Crown prosecutor and legal counsel in the Privy Council Office, the government department that supports the Prime Minister. The emails show the Privy Council lawyer asking for updates on who has been identified as potential witnesses, what was discussed in judicial pre-trial meetings, and what the defence plans to argue in its pre-trial motions.
“What is at issue is we have reason to believe that the PCO is asking for a constant flow of information, and there are communications between the PCO and the PMO’s office about this case,” Henein told the court. She said “the nature and tone” of the emails are especially problematic given Trudeau has a history of commenting publicly on the case, such as when Trudeau told reporters — before Norman was charged — that the matter would likely end up before the courts.

Crown prosecutor Mark Covan said exchanging information was necessary due to the fact the Privy Council Office has responsibility for maintaining cabinet secrets, and had to make decisions on how secret documents requested by the defence team were going to be disclosed, if at all. Covan said the conversations were especially important because of how long it was taking for the government to disclose documents — the kind of delay that can jeopardize a trial. “We were doing what we felt was necessary to get a response,” Covan told the judge. “It took a long time, I don’t deny that ... but there’s not a hint of abuse of process here. This is the Crown fulfilling its obligations.”

The dispute over access to the Prime Minister’s Office communications is just one of many that Perkins-McVey will have to settle during the hearing, which is scheduled to run until Tuesday. She will need to decide how many of the defence’s document requests are “likely relevant” to the trial. Covan argued that many of the requests are unnecessary, and that Perkins-McVey should keep a very high threshold on what counts as likely relevant.

A key issue is whether the defence will be able to enter evidence about Norman’s motivations, which his lawyers argue was to carry out the wishes of the elected officials in the Harper government who wanted the ship. The defence has requested cabinet documents from the final year of the Harper government to support this argument. Covan argued Norman’s motivations are irrelevant, saying the only thing that matters is whether Norman broke the law by releasing confidential information to Davie and the media. “Even if Mr. Norman or other individuals thought that this ship was the absolute best thing for Canada, the absolute best thing for the navy, you can’t commit a crime to get that,” he said.

On Friday the Crown also filed as an exhibit its preliminary witness list, dated July 5, 2018. It includes cabinet ministers Scott Brison and Catherine McKenna; General Jonathan Vance, chief of defence staff; Spencer Fraser, the CEO of the Davie shipbuilding project; and former CBC reporter — and now Liberal political staffer — James Cudmore, who received some of the alleged leaks. The list could still change before the trial, scheduled to start Aug. 19, 2019. It is scheduled to run for seven to eight weeks, meaning it may take place during the next federal election campaign.
 

Rifleman62

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http://nationalpost.pressreader.com/national-post-latest-edition/20181218/textview

Other leaks not comparable, Crown argues
- National Post - 18 Dec 18 - Brian Platt
    ‘Apples and oranges’ in admiral’s case

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s defence will have a chance to make more arguments to the judge over government disclosure on Tuesday.

OTTAWA • A Crown prosecutor told a judge on Monday that whatever leaks of cabinet information another public servant might have orchestrated, it shouldn’t be considered in the same league as what Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is alleged to have done.

Previous court filings have disclosed evidence that some of the cabinet information at the heart of the case against Norman appears to have been leaked by Matthew Matchett, who worked at the time for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, a federal agency.
“We submit that we’re talking about apples and oranges here,” Crown prosecutor Barbara Mercier told the judge. “Mr. Matchett was an analyst at ACOA. He wasn’t a commander in the navy.” Norman’s defence team has asked for document disclosure related to any investigation into Matchett’s activities. In court filings, they argue the information would help reveal “the standard of conduct in Ottawa, the differing treatment of leaks in Ottawa, and the motivation for charging VAdm Norman.”

But Mercier said that, even if Matchett had already leaked some of the same cabinet material that Norman is accused of leaking, it wouldn’t change the fact that its alleged release by Norman was illegal. “In our submission, it doesn’t take us anywhere,” Mercier told Justice Heather Perkins-McVey. Norman was the second highest officer in Canada’s military when he was suspended from duty in January 2017, and criminally charged with breach of trust a year later. The Crown alleges he systematically leaked cabinet information about a $700-million navy procurement project.

Court filings have shown that the RCMP investigation found evidence that Matchett had leaked cabinet documents about the same project to a lobbying firm. Matchett has not been charged, and the evidence has not been tested in court. The RCMP says the investigation into the leaks is still active, but has not said whether it is investigating Matchett specifically.

The ongoing court hearing has already heard new evidence about how Matchett’s case was treated by the government. The Crown disclosed for the first time on Friday that Matchett was suspended without pay from his job — which is now at Public Service and Procurement Canada — only on Oct. 17, 2018. That means the suspension came just days after Norman’s defence team had filed their notice of application, which publicly named Matchett as an alleged source of leaks based on information the RCMP investigation had uncovered. The Crown also disclosed last week that Matchett’s security clearance had been lifted June 22, 2017 — more than a year before he was suspended without pay. National Post and the Ottawa Citizen have made numerous attempts over several months to contact Matchett by email and phone, including on Monday, but he has not responded.

The five-day hearing, scheduled to end on Tuesday, is dealing with a wide range of requests the defence has made for government disclosure. The judge will have to decide which requested documents are likely relevant for Norman to defend himself, and will then have to consider whether those documents should be redacted for issues such as cabinet secrecy and solicitor client privilege.

The Crown wrapped up its submissions on Monday, and argued that some of the defence’s requests are overly broad or irrelevant.
“Clearly, it’s not the Crown’s desire to resist disclosure of information to Mr. Norman that he requires to defend himself of this charge,” she said. “But, your honour, we’re dealing with a veritable sea of government information.” Mercier told the judge that even if the defence’s requests were whittled down to 10,000 documents (the justice department’s initial estimate was they covered up to 135,000 documents), it may be too much material for the judge to read. “That’s not the issue,” Perkins-McVey immediately responded. “That’s for the court and court resources to determine. “That’s certainly not going to play any role of any kind in my determination of what’s going to be released.” The defence will have a chance to make more arguments to the judge on Tuesday.
 

Colin Parkinson

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The Crown argues that motivation is unimportant, just whether the law was broken, seems to fly in the face of most common court cases, where motivation plays a big part. Also even if the judge agrees with it, he may find Norman "guilty" but reduces the penalty to zero due to such motivation.
 

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Colin P said:
The Crown argues that motivation is unimportant, just whether the law was broken, seems to fly in the face of most common court cases, where motivation plays a big part. Also even if the judge agrees with it, he may find Norman "guilty" but reduces the penalty to zero due to such motivation.

The problem for a man like Norman, though, in that case is that even such a finding would be a problem.  It still would be a mark on his record and that would be penalty enough. 
 

Rifleman62

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Two articles in todays NP.

Adm Norman, who the Crown seems to always address as Mr. Norman, lawyer states the Crown's modus operandi is “obfuscation and gamesmanship”. Plus a one star who appears to be an active mbr of the Liberals plot against the Adm. If true, career before ethos and loyalty. Will be interesting what the CDS testifies to.

Bet the Liberals will be caught in political cookie jar again at the end of this.

http://nationalpost.pressreader.com/national-post-latest-edition/20181219

DND tried to hide documents: Witnesses - NP - 19 Dec 18 - Brian Platt

Lawyers for Vice-Admiral Mark Norman excoriated Crown prosecutors and the government on Tuesday, introducing evidence they say shows the state has obstructed Norman’s ability to defend himself against a criminal charge of breach of trust. One witness called by the defence to testify at a court hearing on Tuesday alleged that the Department of National Defence used a practice that kept records relating to Norman, the former second-in-command of the Canadian Forces, from being revealed publicly. The witness, whose name is protected by a publication ban because of fears of professional reprisal for coming forward, testified that his superior told him Norman’s name was deliberately not used in internal files — meaning any search for records about Norman would come up empty.

The witness said he was processing an access-to information request in 2017 that returned no results. When he sought clarification, the witness testified, his superior smiled and told him: “Don’t worry, this isn’t our first rodeo. We made sure we never used his name. Send back the nil return.” “He seemed proud to provide that response,” the witness said. The witness told court he has no relation to Norman, and came forward only because it’s “the right thing to do.” “It just doesn’t seem right, the way the whole situation kind of played out, when I was thinking back about it,” the witness said. “I just wanted to make it known, whether it’s relevant or not.” Justice Heather PerkinsMcVey described the testimony as “very disturbing.”

It came on the last day of a five-day hearing on Norman’s defence team’s request for documents they say are crucial to their ability to defend Norman, who’s accused of leaking cabinet secrets. His lawyer, Marie Henein, pointed out to the judge that some of her own disclosure requests to the Department of National Defence have come back empty.

Earlier, Henein presented the court with an email from Stephen Harper in which the former prime minister clarified that he is willing to waive the right to cabinet secrecy over all documents related to the Norman case that were created during his time in government. The email was sent on Tuesday morning to the clerk of the privy council, Michael Wernick. “In spite of the fact that I believe my view is clear, I continue to receive inquiries about my position regarding cabinet confidences pertaining to my government as relates to the case involving Admiral Norman,” Harper’s email said. “As I recently indicated publicly, I do not assert cabinet confidence for documents relevant to this proceeding.”

Henein offered the email to the court as evidence of Harper’s position on the question of access to confidential documents created under his administration, during which the government signed a deal to lease a navy supply ship from Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding. After the Liberals defeated Harper’s Conservatives in the 2015 election, a committee of the new government’s cabinet decided to delay the deal. After word of the delay leaked to media, the Liberal government decided to continue with the project, but asked the RCMP to investigate the leak — an investigation that has resulted in the charge against Norman.

Henein said she has been trying since the summer to clarify whether the Crown ever asked for Harper’s waiver of cabinet secrecy, but hadn’t received an answer. She said she believes Harper’s reference to “inquiries” refers largely to her own defence team’s questions.
“The passive position taken by the Crown throughout this investigation and throughout this application, in my respectful submission, is profoundly concerning,” she said. She called it evidence of “obfuscation and gamesmanship” on the part of the Crown. “How extraordinary that Vice-Admiral Norman, after three years, three years of this investigation, that it is his counsel that has to try to unravel this, that has to try to bring the relevant information before this honourable court,” Henein told the court.

Meanwhile, Henein accused federal government lawyers of inappropriately intervening in the defence’s access to witnesses, and giving witnesses bad information. A witness called to the stand, former Privy Council Office analyst Melissa Burke, said justice department lawyers offered to sit in on her meeting with defence counsel. Burke declined and brought her own lawyer. Justice department lawyer Robert MacKinnon said their intention is to assist witnesses on what they’re allowed to discuss and what might violate cabinet secrecy.
But Henein also told the court the justice department lawyers do not appear to have made an effort to disclose additional records that Burke had found. The only reason the defence lawyers knew about it was that Burke voluntarily came forward to tell them. “Troubling,” said Justice Perkins-McVey. “Very troubling.”

Perkins-McVey will now start deliberating over which records requested by the defence are likely relevant to the case and should be handed over. However, Henein has requested additional days for the hearing — and is planning to issue witness subpoenas to General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff; John Forster, former deputy minister at national defence; and the military official accused of saying Norman’s name was deliberately avoided in internal records.

The hearing is scheduled to return on Jan. 29, 2019, for three days.

 
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