Norman's defence accuses Trudeau PMO of attempting to direct prosecution | CBC News

The federal government is fighting defence requests for the release of notes from meetings between officials at the Privy Council Office (PCO) and Crown lawyers.

In an email sent to Norman's lawyers on Friday, one of the lead prosecutors, Barbara Mercier, said the documents being sought by the defence are going to be censored because they deal with "trial strategy."

Coordination of the prosecution with the PCO is incredibly sketchy.

Mainville said the discussion with PCO is "more concerning" than the allegations at the centre of the SNC Lavalin controversy because it involves direct dealings between the PCO and prosecutors.

"The prosecution should not be discussing trial strategy with the Prime Minister's Office's right-hand person," she said, referring to the PCO legal counsel.

"By all appearances, this is a more direct influencing of the prosecution. The attorney general is entirely bypassed. The Prime Minister's Office, via its right arm the PCO, is dealing directly with the (Public Prosecution Service of Canada). And the prosecution service is allowing this to happen."

That prompted a cutting remark from the judge hearing Norman's case.

"So much for the independence of the PPSC," said Judge Heather Perkins-McVey.

The fact that the Judge said this makes me question how much the government has actually interfered with politically sensitive court cases. I guess the Harper approach of just losing at the SCC with a flurry of embarrassing op-eds was politically unattractive.

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