PHOTO: The House of Commons is apologizing to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman for what he had to endure while facing criminal breach-of-trust charges – May 14, 2019
Matchett walked out of an Ottawa courthouse a free man after Justice Hugh McLean informed the jury hearing the breach of trust case about the Crown’s decision.
The surprise development came on the fourth day of what was expected to be a four-week trial.
The Crown’s case fell apart after its prime witness, longtime lobbyist Brian Mersereau, testified that he could not remember if Matchett had provided him with a secret memo to cabinet.
The November 2015 leak in question had to do with a controversial Liberal plan to freeze a shipbuilding deal negotiated and formalized by the former Conservative government with Quebec’s Chantier Davie.
It sparked a massive federal hunt to find the source of the leak, which the Crown had previously alleged was Vice-Adm. Mark Norman, the former vice-chief of the defence staff.
A breach of trust charge against Norman was stayed in 2018, with the Crown citing a lack of evidence.
With files from Global News.