CTV Ottawa has learned the man whose accusations led to influence peddling charges against Ottawa's mayor will be one of the first witnesses to take the stand when the trial resumes next week.

Sources tell CTV Ottawa Terry Kilrea will appear at the Ottawa courthouse at noon on Monday and will be prepared to take the stand for up to three days.

Charges against the mayor stem from allegations O'Brien offered to help Kilrea win a federal post with the National Parole Board in exchange for leaving the 2006 mayoral race.

Kilrea also swore in an affidavit that O'Brien offered to pay his campaign expenses. However, the charges against the mayor only relate to the allegations he offered to help Kilrea with a federal appointment.

O'Brien pleaded not guilty to both charges on Monday.

Lawyers for the Crown said their challenge will be proving that conversations between O'Brien and Kilrea happened beyond a reasonable doubt.

Inside the courtroom, the Crown and defence argued for less than an hour on Tuesday over the admissibility of hearsay evidence, which is defined as evidence based on statements made while a person is not under oath.

In order to do that, Crown attorney Scott Hutchison said he'll have to call on many witnesses who will present evidence that is considered hearsay, including conversations witnesses may have had and information they may have exchanged in e-mails.

Although that sort of information is not usually admissible in court, Justice Douglas Cunningham will have to decide what hearsay evidence he'll allow on a case by case basis.

"Well if the Crown's case is built on hearsay, it's presumably inadmissible and it's going to cause problems," said Norm Boxall, a criminal lawyer who is observing the case.

"What makes an interesting case is sometimes legal issues, but what also makes an interesting case is the personalities involved. And this is a sitting mayor that's going to make it interesting," he said.

Defence lawyer Michael Edelson is expected to argue it's difficult to determine what's rumor and what's not because there's often lots of gossip and rumors in political circles.

He says the question is: "How do we deal with that evidence?"

The Crown and defence have already agreed on the following protocol to decide if hearsay evidence will be admissible in court:

  • Witness is called;
  • Witness makes a statement;
  • Defence objects to any evidence that is hearsay;
  • Crown provides submission as to why the testimony should be admissible;
  • Judge rules on whether or not the evidence is admissible.

On Monday, the judge will rule on whether he will accept the protocol put forward by both sides.

Over the course of the trial, court will hear about e-mails sent between Kilrea and Transport Minister and Ottawa West-Nepean MP John Baird, who was president of the Treasury Board at the time of the municipal campaign.

Other evidence expected to be presented in court are statements by O'Brien's niece Heather Tessier, who was the event co-ordinator on Kilrea's campaign.

After Kilrea dropped out of the race, Tessier worked on O'Brien's campaign and was later appointed as O'Brien's executive assistant.

The trial was adjourned after less than an hour of arguments Tuesday morning. The case is set to resume next week.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem