Feds to let court de­cide on re­leas­ing se­crets to Nor­man lawyers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

OT­TAWA - The fed­eral gov­ern­ment says it will let the courts de­cide whether to re­lease thou­sands of pages of cab­i­net se­crets to Vice-Ad­mi­ral Mark Nor­man’s lawyers.

Last month, Nor­man’s lawyers gave a judge a list of records they say are needed to en­sure their client gets a fair trial on a breach-of-trust charge. Most of the doc­u­ments re­late to a $700-mil­lion con­tract to re­fit a civil­ian ves­sel into a tem­po­rary sup­port ship for the navy that was ne­go­ti­ated by the Harper Con­ser­va­tives and fi­nal­ized by the Trudeau Lib­er­als. Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials have pre­vi­ously said that cab­i­net se­crets can only be re­leased with the ap­proval of the prime minister un­der whom they were cre­ated. But new doc­u­ments filed in court this week show there is a sec­ond way which the gov­ern­ment plans to use - by leav­ing the de­ci­sion to the judge.

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