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VAdm Norman - Supply Ship contract: Legal fight

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Curious to see two things:
- what the CDS' response will be to this change; and
- how Trudeau will walk back from his comment in 2018 about this going to court. 
If you remember, back in Feb 2018 Trudeau stated, "I won’t say much, other than to say I took the advice of our chief of defence staff on this particular case,” and “I trust our public service in their capacity to make determinations about what actually needs to happen in cases like this"  Will Trudeau circle back and try to place all of the blame on the CDS for so-called bad advice, which seems to be his SOP.  Will be the CDS be told to take the fall, much like Butts and Wernick?
 

Good2Golf

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Maybe they finally figured out that the Court would be well placed to address Pandora’s Box of things the public hadn’t heard about yet?
 

ModlrMike

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But we're assured that the PMO doesn't influence the DPP office.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Article Link

Federal prosecutors drop breach of trust charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada has dropped a single breach of trust charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

Norman had been accused of leaking cabinet secrets in relation to a $668-million shipbuilding deal to lease a supply vessel to both an executive at the Davie Shipyard, in Levis, Que., which leased a supply ship to the navy, and to a CBC journalist.

The high-profile, politically charged case has seen the Liberal government face allegations of political interference from both the Opposition Conservatives and Norman's defence team, including Toronto lawyer Marie Henein.

The defence had claimed, in both arguments and court filings, that the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office had attempted to orchestrate the prosecution of the case.

CBC News confirmed late Tuesday that prosecutors intended to drop the charge, after the federal prosecution service took the unusual step of advising reporters they "may wish to attend" the court proceeding this morning. The news was initially reported by The National Post.

Andrew Leslie, a retired lieutenant-general who was elected in 2015, announced May 1 he was stepping away from politics after one term as a Liberal MP.

When Norman arrived at the Ottawa courthouse Wednesday morning, he was greeted by Leslie, who was set to testify for the defence.

Norman had little to say to reporters on his way in.

"It's a beautiful day, thank you," he said.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Just watched a poor Crown Prosocuter being hung out to dry in that media scrum.  Thought she was going to start crying...
 

Cloud Cover

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Because she was ordered to lie and say there was no political interference. The next question to her was, "who was withholding the cabinet documents" and she would not answer. 
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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And the CTV news guy described it as she "ran away from the scrum".
A good point he noted is the Crown says the charges are 'stayed", yet the Prosecutor answered that "this is done".  That's not "stayed" then, that should be a "withdrawn".
 

Cloud Cover

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They won't withdraw as that makes it one little nudge easier for him to sue. By "staying" the government can still smear him and threaten to reintroduce the charges.
Interesting that Leslie was there and was clearly supporting him.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Updated CBC article...

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada has dropped a single breach of trust charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

The Crown said new information came to light thanks to Norman's defence team digging through documents, and that there is no reasonable chance of conviction.

The prosecution said Norman's actions were inappropriate and secretive, but that doesn't mean a crime was committed.

"Inappropriate does not mean criminal," said Barbara Mercier, the lead prosecutor.

She also emphasized there was no political interference in the case.

Norman had been accused of leaking cabinet secrets in relation to a $668-million shipbuilding deal to lease a supply vessel to both an executive at the Davie Shipyard, in Levis, Que., which leased a supply ship to the navy, and to a CBC journalist.

The high-profile, politically charged case has seen the Liberal government face allegations of political interference from both the Opposition Conservatives and Norman's defence team, including Toronto lawyer Marie Henein.

The defence had claimed, in both arguments and court filings, that the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office had attempted to orchestrate the prosecution of the case.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on the case on his way into a Liberal caucus meeting.

"The process involved in a public prosecution like this is entirely independent of my office," he said. "It's an independent process and we have confidence in the work done by the director of public prosecutions."
 

Monsoon

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Fairly certain the witch hunt will now transition to an administrative one, and that they will seek a 2(a) release.
 

Petard

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So by staying the charges they leave him financially devastated with no means to answer or repudiate the claims against him, in a politically charged case.

I doubt this is going away as some would hope
 

TCM621

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Eye In The Sky said:
Updated CBC article...

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada has dropped a single breach of trust charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

The Crown said new information came to light thanks to Norman's defence team digging through documents, and that there is no reasonable chance of conviction.

The prosecution said Norman's actions were inappropriate and secretive, but that doesn't mean a crime was committed.

"Inappropriate does not mean criminal," said Barbara Mercier, the lead prosecutor.

She also emphasized there was no political interference in the case.

Norman had been accused of leaking cabinet secrets in relation to a $668-million shipbuilding deal to lease a supply vessel to both an executive at the Davie Shipyard, in Levis, Que., which leased a supply ship to the navy, and to a CBC journalist.

The high-profile, politically charged case has seen the Liberal government face allegations of political interference from both the Opposition Conservatives and Norman's defence team, including Toronto lawyer Marie Henein.

The defence had claimed, in both arguments and court filings, that the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office had attempted to orchestrate the prosecution of the case.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on the case on his way into a Liberal caucus meeting.

"The process involved in a public prosecution like this is entirely independent of my office," he said. "It's an independent process and we have confidence in the work done by the director of public prosecutions."

So basically they are attempting to say he did it but not give him the chance to defend himself. The only word I can come up with is disgusting.
 

Rifleman62

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Apparently, Norman is holding a press meeting at the Navy Mess at noon.
 

Czech_pivo

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Cloud Cover said:
They won't withdraw as that makes it one little nudge easier for him to sue. By "staying" the government can still smear him and threaten to reintroduce the charges.
Interesting that Leslie was there and was clearly supporting him.

Like a said earlier - looks like someone had some integrity.
 

Navy_Pete

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Rifleman62 said:
Apparently, Norman is holding a press meeting at the Navy Mess at noon.

Probably going to be a bigger crowd than what you normally see at Gratis Growlies (on Thursday). Think he pops by there regularly after a morning court appearance and is well received.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Monsoon said:
Fairly certain the witch hunt will now transition to an administrative one, and that they will seek a 2(a) release.

He just offered to come back to work in the news conference.
 

Haggis

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"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on the case on his way into a Liberal caucus meeting.

"The process involved in a public prosecution like this is entirely independent of my office," he said. "It's an independent process and we have confidence in the work done by the director of public prosecutions."

Bullcrap!  Back in April 2017 and February 2018 the PM stated that the Norman case will inevitably go to court.  This was long before charges were laid.  If that's not an implied order to the RCMP to lay a charge and to the PPSC to pursue it to a conviction I don't know what is.  I suspect the PPSC may have received similar implied direction from the PMO to "make this go away".
 

The Bread Guy

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This from the PPSC ...
Ottawa – May 8, 2019 – Today in the Ontario Court of Justice, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada stayed proceedings against Vice Admiral Mark Norman after it was determined that there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.

In March, 2018, Mr. Norman was charged with one count of breach of trust contrary to s. 122 of the Criminal Code for allegedly leaking confidential information regarding the contract for an interim Auxiliary Replenishment ship with the Canadian shipbuilding company Chantier Davie.

In this case, as in every case prosecuted by the PPSC, only two factors were considered: whether there was reasonable prospect of conviction and, if so, whether it was in the public interest to proceed with the charge. It was the conclusion of the PPSC that both criteria were met when the charge was laid. After reviewing further evidence provided to the prosecution, some from applications for records that were not part of the investigation file (third party records) and some volunteered by the defence, the PPSC is no longer of the view that a reasonable prospect of conviction exists. In particular, the Crown has concluded that it will not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Norman’s conduct in this case amounted to a serious and marked departure from the standards expected of a person in his position of trust.

This decision was based on the evidence, the law, and the principles regarding reasonable prospect of conviction, which are set out in the PPSC Deskbook: https://www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca/eng/pub/fpsd-sfpg/fps-sfp/tpd/p2/ch03.html.

“No other factors were considered in this decision” said Kathleen Roussel, Director of Public Prosecutions “nor was there any contact or influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence in either the initial decision to prosecute Mr. Norman or in the decision to stay the charge today.”

The principle of prosecutorial independence is key to the PPSC’s mandate. PPSC prosecutors are expected to be objective, independent, and dispassionate in the exercise of their duties, and to exercise those duties in a manner free from any improper influence, including political influence.

– 30 –​
 

QV

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Haggis said:
Bullcrap!  Back in April 2017 and February 2018 the PM stated that the Norman case will inevitably go to court.  This was long before charges were laid.  If that's not an implied order to the RCMP to lay a charge and to the PPSC to pursue it to a conviction I don't know what is.  I suspect the PPSC may have received similar implied direction from the PMO to "make this go away".

I'm going to take the Director of PPSC at her word this didn't happen.  I do suspect the PMO was probably briefed on the status of this investigation, and perhaps knew ahead of time that a charge would be filed.  I think it was stupid for the PM to publically comment about Norman inevitably going to court.  But I don't have an opinion one way or the other about the PMO being briefed on the status of an investigation involving someone as significant as the VCDS. 
 
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