Fisheries official pleads not guilty to obstructing justice
Peter Andrews will go on trial in March 2014 on obstruction charge
A senior New Brunswick civil servant pleaded not guilty Thursday to obstruction of justice.
Peter Andrews did not appear in Fredericton court, but his lawyer, Patrick Hurley, entered the plea on his behalf.
Andrews, the executive director of the corporate services division of the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, is accused of obstructing justice while in his role in relation to a charge under the Aquaculture Act in the fall of 2011.
Seven days have been set aside for the trial, which will start on March 5.
The court date has been pushed off until March because the Crown prosecutor, Caroline Paquin, is being brought in from Quebec. She has a trial in that province until the end of December.
Andrews could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if he is convicted.
The charge against the civil servant follows an anonymous letter sent to the Opposition Liberals that accused Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud of obstructing justice.
There's been no evidence to support that allegation and no one else has been charged in relation to the allegation.
Robichaud has denied allegations that he pressured staff at the fisheries department not to prosecute his brother under the Aquaculture Act. He also said he has never met Andrews.
Donat Robichaud, the deputy premier's brother, pleaded guilty in April to a charge under the Aquaculture Act. He was ordered to pay a $480 fine and a 20 per cent victim fine surcharge.