The Public Prosecution Service of Canada fired a shot across Justin Trudeau's bow when it took to twitter today.
Prosecutorial independence is key to our mandate. Our prosecutors must be objective, independent and dispassionate, as well as free from improper influence—including political influence. https://t.co/X8Pn2r2AIKThe PPSC was created by Stephen Harper in 2006.
Despite the timing, PPSC denied the tweet had anything to do with Justin Trudeau's remarks today or Gerald Butts' testimony yesterday.
The spokesperson said the tweet is not related to the SNC-Lavalin controversy and there is no pressing concern about the independence of prosecution in Canada.Bullshit, bullshit and more bullshit.
If there was no pressing concern about prosecutorial independence and the tweet was not related to SNC-L, then why tweet it today or, for that matter, at all?
If prosecutors want to be free from political influence, as they fatuously claim, a good first step is to steer clear of the political controversy which is what they did not do today with that tweet.
The independence and integrity of the PPSC takes me back to the prosecution of senator Mike Duffy. The then prime minister and his chief of staff knew Duffy's weaknesses - he was a spendthrift and he was in lousy health. Duffy was told to quit the Senate or they would bury him in criminal litigation.
Without the slightest bit of political interference prosecutors invented the "immaculate bribery" charge. Duffy was accused of accepting a bribe that no one had given, sort of, in an odd way. And then, the political interference free prosecutors ladled on another 32 charges, making 33 in all. When was the last time you heard of anyone having to defend himself on 33 criminal charges?
A prosecutor free of political interference would have chosen three, five, maybe six good charges to prosecute. 33 charges - it does indeed sound like someone is out to bury somebody who might have a wonky heart and be low on pocket change.
Now that might be an unfair smear on the prosecutorial service except for one thing. At trial, a seasoned and highly-respected judge saw straight through it. He dismissed the charges, all 33 of them. It was Duffy 33, Crown no score.
When a defendant is acquitted of all charges, something is wrong. When a defendant is acquitted of all 33 charges - ten, twenty, thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, something is way beyond wrong.
Worse still for the totally interference-free prosecutors was Vaillancourt's finding that they had adduced plenty of evidence of criminal activity only the Crown had not charged the real criminals. Oh, my, swallow hard - that's gonna hurt.
And what was the fallout of that? Nothing. Vaillancourt all but spelled out the names of the real criminals. Nothing. The RCMP? Nothing. The prosecution service - you're kidding, right?
So you can believe the PPSC that today's tweet had nothing to do with SCN-L and you can believe that the PPSC is not interfering in the political realm where they have no business meddling, but I'm not buying it. Not for a minute.