Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Liberal Vikileaker Still Too Sick to Appear at Commons Committee: Vikileaker Too Sick to Attend Committee

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Liberal Vikileaker Still Too Sick to Appear at Commons Committee: Vikileaker Too Sick to Attend Committee

Article excerpt

OTTAWA - A former Liberal party staffer who quit after posting a cabinet minister's divorce details online is again putting off an appearance before a House of Commons committee.

Adam Carroll had been expected to testify before the ethics committee Thursday about his role in the Twitter account Vikileaks.

He was supposed to appear earlier this week but was ill and the committee decided they'd issue a summons for his return.

But in a letter to committee members, his lawyer says Carroll is still too sick to attend.

The letter says Carroll isn't refusing an invitation to appear before MPs and will eventually testify, as he wants to bring the issue to a close.

"However, this appearance will be by invitation, not compulsion," said the letter from lawyer Paul Champ.

In the letter, Champ contends the committee had no jurisdiction to formally summon Carroll after he failed to appear earlier this week.

The Tory-dominated committee had called Carroll to testify after an investigation by the House of Commons suggested he was using parliamentary resources to post Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' divorce details via Twitter.

The account was set up in the wake of the introduction of an online surveillance bill that would give authorities expanded powers to gain people's Internet information -- drawing the ire of critics who said it was too intrusive.

While the divorce records were already in the public domain, using the Commons computer to distribute them may have violated acceptable-use policies.

Carroll had quit his job once he was identified as the source of the account and Liberal Leader Bob Rae apologized to Toews in the Commons.

As a result, the Speaker of the House of Commons declared the matter closed.

For that reason, the committee has no real authority to be studying the issue, Champ wrote.

"As a consequence of Mr. …

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