Lawyer pleads not guilty to obstruction

Saint John lawyer Rodney Gillis has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice.

A well-known New Brunswick lawyer has pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice.

Rodney Gillis, who is based in Saint John, entered the plea in Bathurst provincial court on Wednesday.

The charge stems from an alleged incident in Bathurst on Dec. 10, 2010.

Court documents obtained by CBC News allege Gillis — a partner in the Saint John firm Gilbert McGloan Gillis — attempted to "obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding by attempting to dissuade a person by threats, bribes or other corrupt means from giving evidence."

The documents name Sgt. Mark Lord of the Fredericton Police Force as the informant.

The file has been transferred to Halifax-based Crown prosecutor Peter Craig.

Gillis' law firm was recently accused by another judge of misconduct and misleading the court in creditor protection proceedings involving the companies owned by the family of Henk Tepper, the potato farmer who's been in a Beirut jail since March.

An Edmundston judge ordered Gilbert McGloan Gillis to pay a portion of the legal fees incurred by the other parties — about $102,500.

Gillis is also defending former New Brunswick MLA Frank Branch against charges of fraud and extortion.

Marc Richard, the executive director of the Law Society of New Brunswick, has told CBC News that Gillis is allowed to continue to practise law while the case proceeds through the courts.