Public prosecutor to drop breach of trust charge against Mark Norman
CTV News has confirmed that the public prosecutor intends to drop the charge of breach of trust against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
Norman is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday in Ottawa, where prosecutors are expected to outline their reasoning behind the dropped charge.
The trial was supposed to start in August, close to the start of the federal election campaign.
Norman served as the second-in-command of the military until he was charged in March 2018 with breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets in favour of Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding in relation to a $700-million shipbuilding contract.
The contract, signed by the Trudeau government in 2015, involved leasing a converted civilian ship to the military as a temporary support vessel.
Norman has denied any wrongdoing and his legal team have argued that the charges he is facing are politically motivated. His lawyers had been trying to access documents to make that case, with the goal of having the case tossed out before heading to trial.
Last week, CTV News reported that outgoing Liberal MP Andrew Leslie was on the witness list to testify, if called, against the government. Leslie, a former lieutenant-general in the military, knows Norman both personally and professionally, but has been instructed not to comment publicly on the matter.
According to court documents, investigators with the RCMP believed two individuals worked independently of each other to leak the documents in November 2015.
Matthew Matchett, a suspended official with Public Service and Procurement Canada, has also been accused of leaking the documents. In March, Matchett’s lawyers told the court he intends to plead not guilty to his own breach of trust charge.
With files from The Canadian Press