Public Prosecution Service of Canada clarifies prosecutors comments
Defence lawyers in case have said public comments made by prosecutor contradict findings in police probe
About a month after he made statements outside a Sudbury court referring to Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, public prosecutor Vern Brewer is clarifying what he said.
The comments were made in relation to a Sudbury byelection bribery case that is currently working its way through the court.
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"The Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Mr. Brewer wish to clarify that in his statements Mr. Brewer never suggested, nor intended to suggest, that Mr. Thibeault acted corruptly," the PPSC wrote in a news release Wednesday.
The PPSC also stated it regretted any contrary interpretation that may have been made.
Glenn Thibeault's office issued a short reply in response to the statement.
"I'm pleased that the issue arising from Mr. Brewer's statements has been resolved," Thibeault is quoted as saying.
"As this is a matter that is before the courts, I do not intend to comment any further."
The defence lawyers in the case have previously said public comments made by the prosecutor contradict the findings of the police investigation.
"Our allegation is that Mr. Thibeault sought certain benefits, offers, jobs or employment as part of his condition to run as an MPP," Brewer told reporters on Nov. 21.
"The section makes it an offence to offer, not necessarily to receive."
Toronto lawyer Brian Greenspan, who is representing former top Liberal official Pat Sorbara, said the comments were "inconsistent with positions taken throughout the course of the investigation"
Earlier this month, Greenspan and Michael Lacy, the lawyer for prominent Sudbury businessman Gerry Lougheed, convinced a Sudbury judge to adjourn the case until Jan. 18, so the dispute could be sorted out.
Lougheed and Sorbara are accused of offering former Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier a bribe to step aside so then NDP MP Glenn Thibeault could run for the Ontario Liberals in last year's Sudbury byelection.
Sorbara is also accused of bribing Thibeault to defect from the New Democrats.