Canadian Manufacturing

October dates set for preliminary hearing in shipbuilding secrets case

A date has been set aside for a preliminary inquiry in the case of a public servant accused of leaking cabinet secrets about a naval contract

March 19, 2019  The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A preliminary hearing is set for October in the case of a public servant accused of leaking cabinet secrets about a $700-million naval contract.

Matthew Matchett, a suspended Public Service and Procurement Canada official, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of breach of trust in the matter.

During a brief hearing Tuesday, three days – Oct. 23 to 25 – were set aside for a preliminary inquiry despite Crown suggestions that waiting seven months could jeopardize Matchett’s right to timely justice.

Prosecutor Jeannine Plamondon indicated that a shorter hearing, or one held on non-consecutive days, could have been scheduled sooner – stressing the Crown’s efforts to ensure speedy proceedings.

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However, Matchett’s lawyer, Matthew Day, seemed satisfied with the timetable, saying he had yet to receive all relevant documents from the Crown in the case.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the military’s former second-in-command, is also accused of leaking information about the contract between the federal government and Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec. Norman has denied any wrongdoing and his trial is scheduled to begin in August.