Times Colonist

Harper’s Cadman interview not doctored, writer insists

- ANDREW MAYEDA

OTTAWA — The author at the centre of the so-called Cadman affair is vehemently denying allegation­s by the federal Conservati­ves that a taped interview implicatin­g Prime Minister Stephen Harper was doctored.

The Conservati­ve Party of Canada revealed yesterday that it retained two forensic audio specialist­s to analyze a tape of a 2005 interview that Harper, who was opposition leader at the time, gave to author Tom Zytaruk.

In the interview, Harper acknowledg­ed the party offered unspecifie­d “financial considerat­ions” to independen­t MP Chuck Cadman, who was dying of cancer at the time, so he would vote with the Conservati­ves against the former Liberal government.

However, in an affidavit filed in court this week, one of the specialist­s concluded a tape provided by Zytaruk to the Conservati­ves had been altered.

“It is my opinion that the tape does not represent the entire taped interview of Stephen Harper as it actually occurred,” said Tom Owen, president of a New Jerseybase­d forensic-consulting firm called Owl Investigat­ions, in an affidavit. “The tape has been edited and doctored and does not represent the entire conversati­on that took place.”

Zytaruk categorica­lly denied doctoring the tape.

“My total interview is on the tape. The tape has not been edited,” he told Surrey Now, the newspaper where he works.

The Conservati­ves are seeking a court injunction preventing the Liberal party from using the tape. It has been posted it on various Liberal party-affiliated websites.

“The Zytaruk tape has been thoroughly discredite­d. This is just the latest in a growing mountain of facts that discredit the Liberal party and their accusation­s against the prime minister,” Conservati­ve MP James Moore said at a news conference at the party’s campaign headquarte­rs.

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said his party would obey any such injunction but had no immediate plans to stop using the tape.

He said the move was an attempt to obscure the fact that Harper has never fully explained what the Conservati­ves offered to Cadman.

The Cadman affair catapulted into the public arena in February after a book by Zytaruk quoted Cadman’s wife, Dona, saying her dying husband had told her two Conservati­ve officials sought but failed to win his support in the crucial vote by promising him a $1-million life-insurance policy.

On Sept. 9, 2005, several months after Cadman died, Harper visited his widow at her home in Surrey. Zytaruk interviewe­d Harper on the driveway after the visit.

In an affidavit filed in court this week, Harper said the interview lasted five to 10 minutes. Zytaruk later provided a copy of the original recording to the Conservati­ve party. But that copy omitted the beginning of the interview, Harper said.

“The only reason I agreed to be interviewe­d by Mr. Zytaruk was to provide him quotes for his book about my relationsh­ip with my friend Chuck Cadman. The audio tape that purports to be my entire tape interview omits all of this part of the interview.”

Zytaruk said yesterday he didn’t know how long the interview lasted, but added that he provided “wire-to-wire” copies to both the Conservati­ves and Liberals, and the RCMP.

 ??  ?? Writer Tom Zytaruk has denied that any portion of an interview he conducted with Stephen Harper in 2005 has been doctored.
Writer Tom Zytaruk has denied that any portion of an interview he conducted with Stephen Harper in 2005 has been doctored.

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