Peter Andrews found not guilty of obstructing justice

A provincial civil servant has been found not guilty of obstructing justice in a case with links to New Brunswick's deputy premier.

Civil servant was accused of trying to stop a fisheries officer from charging brother of Paul Robichaud

A provincial civil servant has been found not guilty of obstructing justice in a case with links to New Brunswick's deputy premier.

Judge Julian Dickson delivered his verdict in the case of Peter Andrews in Fredericton provincial court Tuesday afternoon.

Andrews, the executive director of corporate services at the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, was accused of interfering with a case involving the brother of Deputy Premier and Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud in the fall of 2011.

The Crown argued during the week-long trial in March that there had been political interference in the case.

But the defence portrayed the entire affair as a comedy of errors, a routine policy decision that spun out of control when a bureaucrat reporting to Andrews wrongly assumed political interference that wasn’t there.

Dickson said in his decision there was no evidence of improper interference in the case by Robichaud.

Dickson found Andrews was "acting in good faith for a proper and legitimate purpose."

Peter Andrews thanked family and friends for their support over the last 15 months after Tuesday's verdict. (CBC)
​Donat Robichaud, an oyster farmer in the Acadian Peninsula, was eventually charged for violations of the Aquaculture Act and pleaded guilty in April 2012 to one charge. He was ordered to pay a $480 fine and a 20 per cent victim surcharge.

Andrews has been on leave with pay pending the outcome of the trial.

He spoke to reporters outside the courtroom and said the last 15 months have been difficult and thanked his family and friends for support.