FORMER PMO LAWYER'S TESTIMONY CONTRADICTS HARPER'S SIDE OF THE STORY
Aug 20, 2015
By Bob Komsic
Benjamin Perrin’s first day on the stand at the Mike Duffy trial raised eyebrows.
The former lawyer inside the Prime Minister’s Office contradicted the Conservative election campaign.
Perrin spelled out how Stephen Harper’s top aide was told of the $90,000 repayment of the senator’s expenses.
He described a conference call in early 2013 that included himself, Duffy’s lawyer, Nigel Wright; the prime minister’s then chief of staff, and Ray Novak, Harper’s principal secretary who would replace Wright.
Perrin told the court just before the call, he was at a table in Wright’s office with Wright and Novak.
That’s when he says Wright told him that he would be the one covering Duffy’s expenses.
Perrin says when he looked over at Novak to see his reaction, there was none and shortly after the call was made and that Novak was there for the entire call.
A spokesperson for the Conservative campaign had said last week Novak was unaware of the payment and not on the call when it was discussed.
Wright had also testified that Novak was not there for the entire call and ”popped in and out.”
While campaigning in the GTA early Thursday, Harper said, ”when people are working for me, they have my confidence. If they didn’t have my confidence they wouldn’t be working for me. And in this case, I have held the two people (Duffy and Wright) accountable who are responsible.”