Rahim Jaffer will not return to Parliament Hill this week to face a second grilling from MPs examining improper lobbying allegations against the former Conservative MP, according to his new lawyer.


Former MP Rahim Jaffer and his business partner Patrick Glémaud, right, prepare to testify at the Commons government opertions committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in April. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))

Jaffer and his wife, MP Helena Guergis, initially said they would appear together before the government operations committee on Wednesday.

But in a letter to the clerk of the committee dated Monday that was obtained by CBC News, defence lawyer Frank Addario says he has just recently been retained by Jaffer and needs an opportunity to meet with his client and review evidence provided by other committee witnesses.

"On behalf of Mr. Jaffer, I am therefore going to have to decline your invitation to appear at that date."

Guergis's lawyer said earlier this week she would be pulling out due to a "health concern."

Jaffer was expected to face an onslaught of questions from MPs on the committee over apparent contradictions between his earlier testimony and new information about alleged unregistered lobbying of his former government colleagues over access to a federal green infrastructure fund.

The former Alberta Tory MP denied he lobbied government officials and dismissed his previous committee appearance as a "circus."

During his testimony after Jaffer's appearance in April, Toronto-area businessman Nazim Gillani challenged Jaffer's assertion that no business relationship existed between his company, Green Power Generation, and Gillani's firm.

Gillani also presented documents to the committee that suggest his firm had a contract with Jaffer's company to help secure government funding.

On Wednesday, the committee is scheduled to hear from Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton, who is believed to have passed on information from a Toronto-based private investigator to the Prime Minister's Office about an alleged business relationship between Jaffer and Gillani.

Guergis resigned from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet and was kicked out of the Conservative caucus in April after Harper learned of allegations about her conduct, which have yet to be disclosed. The prime minister also referred the matter to the RCMP and the federal ethics commissioner. 

Last week, Guergis, who currently sits as an Independent MP in the House of Commons, challenged the prime minister to produce a letter his chief of staff wrote detailing the allegations that led to her ouster from cabinet and caucus.

The Prime Minister's Office has maintained that Guergis was briefed on the nature of the allegations.