Crown says no evidence of political interference in Mark Norman case

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OTTAWA — Crown prosecutors are pushing back against suggestions of political interference in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s criminal case, saying there is no evidence to support such allegations.

The suspended military officer’s lawyers have alleged the case against their client is politically motivated and want access to documents held by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office to prove it.

But Crown attorney Mark Covan is defending the independence of the RCMP investigation and prosecution, adding that even if the Prime Minister’s Office has an opinion on the case, there is no evidence it has influenced the process.

Covan is also defending the lengthy investigation that led to the breach of trust charge against Norman, telling an Ottawa court on the fourth day of a five-day pre-trial hearing that the RCMP followed all appropriate steps.

Norman was suspended as the military’s second-in-command in January 2017 and charged this past March with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets about a $700-million military project in 2015.

He has denied any wrongdoing and his trial is scheduled to start in August.

The Canadian Press