Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's Case Put over until July 10

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's Case Put over until July 10

Article excerpt

Mark Norman case put off until July 10

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OTTAWA - A handful of supporters turned up at the Ottawa courthouse Wednesday to praise Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and decry the criminal charge against him, though the suspended military officer did not personally appear in court.

Norman was suspended as the military's second-in-command in January 2017 and charged this past March with breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets to a Quebec shipyard. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Wednesday's proceeding was a routine review and followed a closed-door conference Tuesday between the Crown and Norman's defence lawyer -- a conference court was told has been scheduled to resume June 27.

The two sides will report back to the court July 10.

Norman was not present in the courtroom and was instead represented by Ottawa lawyer Owen Rees.

The vice-admiral's absence didn't stop a handful of people from showing up at the courthouse to show their support for the suspended officer, including retired naval captain Ian Paterson, who served with Norman in the Forces.

"I know him as a fine man. A brilliant officer. A solid standup guy who would go to the wall for his folks," Paterson said outside the courthouse.

"He's one of the few senior officers over the last decade that has actually stood up and said, 'This is what we should do,' and as a result, he's just being ground down."

Norman has enjoyed significant backing from various people across the country, including more than 1,000 people who have donated a combined $125,000 to a crowdsourced fund to help cover his legal costs.

Those contributors include former military officers and even some politicians such as Alberta opposition leader Jason Kenney.

Many of Norman's supporters have alleged that he is simply a casualty of a much larger war that is being quietly waged between the various shipyards involved in the federal government's multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan.

Others have accused the Trudeau government of trying to make an example of him. …

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