September 12th, 2015

Attorney General must ask public prosecutor to investigate PMO staff at Duffy trial

The NDP wrote to Attorney General Peter MacKay – but no response from Conservatives.

With evidence mounting of possible political interference in the Mike Duffy corruption trial, the NDP wrote to Attorney General Peter MacKay last week, asking him to refer the actions of senior Prime Minister's Office (PMO) staff to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for review.

"Alleged contact between Conservatives in the Prime Minister's Office and witnesses at the trial raises flags for many Canadians,” said NDP Justice critic Françoise Boivin. "We always knew that Nigel Wright was a primary actor in this situation but, over the course of the trial, it seems that many other senior staff in the Prime Minister's Office were involved, including the Prime Minister's current Chief of Staff Ray Novak."

Nigel Wright admitted that he was in touch with current Chief of Staff Ray Novak via instant messenger two weeks before he testified. CTV reported that the Prime Minister's current Director of Issues Management Nick Koolsbergen - dressed incognito in a red hoodie - was seen speaking with witness Chris Woodcock during breaks in testimony.

"Canadians are left looking for answers but Stephen Harper's Conservatives simply refuse to come clean," said Boivin. "The Attorney General has a responsibility to make sure any possible political interference with a witness giving testimony under oath is reviewed by the Director of Public Prosecutions and referred to the proper authorities."