Liberal MP and Canadian army veteran Andrew Leslie will be testifying on behalf of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman in his court battle against the federal government.
Norman is facing a breach of trust charge for allegedly disclosing information about a confidential $700 million shipbuilding contract.
Leslie, who is a lieutenant-general with the Canadian military, announced that he would no longer seek re-election as a Liberal candidate for the 2019 federal election on May 1.
According to sources, the Prime Minister had known about Leslie’s intent to testify on behalf of the beleaguered vice-admiral for over a year.
Leslie has asked for the federal government to cover his legal fees and the request has been granted.
On the other hand, Norman has sought the same coverage but the federal government has insisted that it would not assist with the accused’s $500,000 legal fees.
The case would make Norman one of three people who were refused legal coverage by the Defence Department in the last two years.
Vice-Admiral Norman has denied any wrongdoing in the case and his legal team is alleging that the federal government is withholding evidence, which could prove that the case has been politically interfered with.
The defence has threatened to call members of the Prime Minister’s Office, including former Principal Secretary Gerald Butts, to testify before the court. His lawyers have also cited Michael Wernick’s SNC-Lavalin testimony as justification behind their defence.
It is currently unclear in what capacity Leslie will be testifying on Norman’s behalf or when the trial is set to take place.