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The Trudeau government spent over $1.4 million in legal costs in their failed attempt to prosecute Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Normal was exonerated and has since retired.
The Canadian Press reports that the revelations came in a written response by Justice Minister David Lametti to a question from Conservative MP Erin O’Toole. “Lametti did not provide any further details about the costs—including whether the figure included Norman’s legal fees, which the government has said it would pay.”
“To the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total legal costs related to the case,” Lametti wrote in answer to O’Toole. “Based on the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $1,425,389.68, as of Dec. 9, 2019.”
The number that was spent on the RCMP investigation is unclear.
Vice-Admiral Norman was charged with breach of trust in March 2018. He pled “not guilty” and his lawyers maintained that the case against him was politically motivated.
Eventually, the charges were dropped after Norman’s lawyers presented evidence to crown prosecutors that convinced them that there was no reasonable chance he would be convicted.
Conservative Defense Critic James Bezan condemned the Liberals for the use of taxpayer’s money, calling the treatment of Norman a “witch hunt” and adding: “Canadians deserve to know how much was paid in compensation both to cover his costs as well as damages for this malicious mistreatment of vice-admiral Mark Norman, one of our top-ranked officers who was just doing his job.”