Nova Scotia

Lawyer asked for legal opinion on police testimony

A prominent Halifax defence lawyer has been asked to give a legal opinion on whether the Deputy Chief of the Halifax Force committed perjury.
Bridgewater police Chief Brent Crowhurst looked into the actions of Halifax police officers involved in work with a private lie-detector company. (CBC)

A prominent Halifax defence lawyer has been asked to give a legal opinion on whether the deputy chief of Halifax Regional Police committed perjury.

Joel Pink was contacted by the department after information was gathered during an external review.

Bridgewater police Chief Brent Crowhurst conducted the investigation. He was asked to look into the actions of Halifax police officers involved in a private lie-detector company.

One of the officers involved was Sgt. Anthony McNeil. His brother is Deputy Police Chief Chris McNeil.

During his investigation Crowhurst interviewed those involved and also looked at information presented during a separate police review board hearing into the matter. The review board evidence was given under oath.

The investigation raised a timeline question: When did Chris McNeil know his brother was conducting lie-detector tests for the private company?

A source has told CBC News there is a discrepancy between what the deputy chief testified to under oath and what he said during the separate investigation involving his brother.

That version, not under oath, favoured his brother. What Pink is now being asked to do is provide a legal opinion on whether what was said under oath could be considered perjury.

Pink would not comment on what role, if any, he has been asked to play, citing confidentiality.

Crowhurst confirms he did a review and while he will not comment on the specifics he said in his experience it is highly unusual for a defence lawyer to be brought into the process, a view shared by the Nova Scotia Police Commission.

When reached by CBC News Monday, Chris McNeil said he is not under investigation. He would not comment further.

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