Settlement process for Norman undertaken ‘independently’: Trudeau

OSAKA, Japan — The settlement between Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and the Defence Department was undertaken independently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday.

Speaking at a closing press conference at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Trudeau said the government appreciates the process is “now concluded” but he didn’t say why the settlement was reached.

“That is a conversation between the vice-admiral and the ministry of national defence,” Trudeau told reporters.

Earlier this week, the department issued a surprise statement saying it had reached a ”mutually acceptable agreement” with Norman and he would be retiring from the military after consulting with his family, chain of command and his legal counsel.

The details of the settlement would remain confidential, the statement added.

The announcement came more than a month after Crown prosecutors stayed their politically charged breach-of-trust case against the military’s former second-in-command.

In January 2017, the military moved to suspend Norman and he was later charged with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets, known as “cabinet confidences,” to a Quebec shipyard.

The case was expected to play out during the fall federal election campaign before the charges were stayed against Norman in May.

Conservative Leader Andrew Leader Andrew Scheer has called for an apology for Norman.

Trudeau said Saturday that from “the very beginning”, the chief of defence staff informed him of the steps he had taken in regards to Norman.

“We respect the unfolding of our justice system,” Trudeau said.

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