Defence raises prospect of multiple leaks in bureaucrat's shipbuilding trial

·1 min read

OTTAWA — An Ottawa court heard today that more than one person may have disclosed information about secret cabinet deliberations over a $700-million shipbuilding deal in late 2015.

Matthew Matchett’s lawyer finished cross-examining the Crown’s first witness in the breach of trust trial, in which the federal bureaucrat is accused of illegally leaking cabinet secrets to a Quebec shipyard.

Defence attorney Michael Johnston asked longtime lobbyist Brian Mersereau about several emails he had received from officials at Chantier Davie, as well as a CBC article published in November 2015.

Mersereau told the court that the detailed information contained in the emails and article about the Liberal government’s secret discussions did not come from Matchett, who has pleaded not guilty.

While Mersereau says he did not know the source of the information, he testified that Davie would have been in regular contact with government officials as the company sought to conclude the deal to lease a converted civilian vessel to the navy as a temporary support ship.

The Liberal government initially paused the deal but later approved it, with Davie delivering the MV Asterix in January 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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