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By leaking, suspended vice-admiral Norman broke rules he swore to uphold: Crown

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman speaks briefly to reporters as he leaves the courthouse in Ottawa following his first appearance for his trial for breach of trust, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.New court documents have opened a curtain on the risk to taxpayers as successive federal governments have turned to sole-source contracts to purchase desperately-needed equipment for the Canadian Forces and others. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — New court documents have sketched out the Crown’s case against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, alleging the suspended military officer broke the rules he was sworn to uphold when he leaked cabinet secrets to a Quebec shipyard and the media.

The breach-of-trust case against Norman revolves around a $700-million contract the federal government signed in 2015 with Davie Shipbuilding to refit a commercial vessel into a temporary supply ship for the navy.

The contract was in doubt for a period after the Liberals were elected that fall.

The Crown alleges that Norman intentionally tried to undermine the cabinet’s decision-making on the project, which he supported, by leaking information to the company, lobbyists and the media. Prosecutors say his use of a private email address shows that he knew he was out of bounds.

The Crown argues that whether Norman truly believed the Davie project was the best option for the navy is irrelevant to whether he actually committed a crime.

Norman has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charge. His case is scheduled to go to trial next August and run through much of the next federal election.

The Canadian Press