Armed forces avoided using Norman’s name, left no record trail: witness

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OTTAWA — A Canadian Forces member says his commanding officer appeared proud when he revealed last year that military officials had intentionally avoided using Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s name in internal correspondence.

The Forces member, whose identify is covered by a publication ban, recounted the conversation in testimony this morning as Norman’s lawyers again accused the government of playing political games with their client.

The service member says the conversation in July 2017 occurred after he went to his commander looking for assistance with an access to information request asking for various internal documents about Norman.

The member, who says he doesn’t know Norman and only came forward because it seemed the right thing to do, says his commander smiled as he told him to respond that there were no records.

The member’s testimony came on the last day of a five-day pre-trial hearing in which Norman’s lawyers have been fighting for access to numerous government records that they say will exonerate their client.

Justice Heather Perkins-McVey described the member’s testimony, which has not been cross-examined, as “very disturbing” before court recessed for lunch.

Norman was suspended as the military’s second-in-command in January 2017 and charged this past March with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets the contract. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The Canadian Press

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