Mayor's lawyer challenges witness credibility
Defence lawyers attacked the credibility of the man who accused Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien of influence peddling during the city's 2006 mayoral race as he took the stand for the second day in a row.
Defence lawyer Michael Edelson on Tuesday continued his cross-examination of the mayor's rival Terry Kilrea by digging into the specifics of a sworn affidavit Kilrea filed in December 2006.
In the affidavit, Kilrea said he met with O'Brien at a coffee shop at 700 Sussex Drive on July 5, 2006, which conflicts with testimony Kilrea gave on Monday stating he now thinks the pair met for a face-to-face meeting on July 12, 2006.
In the sworn court document, Kilrea recalled O'Brien mentioned his intention to run for mayor and alleged O'Brien offered to help him win a federal post in exchange for dropping out of the race.
O'Brien was charged with two Criminal Code counts in 2007 following a nine-month police investigation into the matter. He pleaded not guilty to the influence peddling charges last week.
While under questioning, Kilrea said he understands it's a criminal offence to swear to a false affidavit. He also admitted to telling radio and newspaper reporters that everything in his affidavit was correct.
Lawyer challenges editorial statements
During his cross-examination Tuesday afternoon, Edelson also grilled Kilrea on statements he made in a press release as well as editorials he wrote for both the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun in 2006.
Although Kilrea wrote he had conversations about light rail funding with federal Transport Minister John Baird, who was then president of the Treasury Board, Kilrea admitted that he never had those conversations.
Rather, he said members of his campaign team talked to Baird about light rail funding for the City of Ottawa.
Kilrea recounts conversations with O'Brien
During his first day of testimony, Kilrea outlined several conversations he had with O'Brien regarding the 2006 race for mayor.
Kilrea told the court O'Brien mentioned he had the support of prominent members of the federal Conservative party who wanted the two of them to "come to a business arrangement" to avoid having two right-wing candidates split the vote.
Kilrea testified O'Brien asked him what he would do if he wasn't running for mayor.
Although Kilrea said he indicated he had no intention to drop out of the race, he did express some interest in a position on the National Parole Board.
'Baird is the key,' recalls Kilrea
According to Kilrea's testimony, O'Brien said Baird was the one who could help him with a federal appointment.
"John Baird is the key," Kilrea recalled O'Brien saying. "Baird is the one who makes this happen."
Following the face-to-face meeting, Kilrea said O'Brien called him within a few hours to say he had spoken to John Reynolds, Stephen Harper's co-chair during the 2006 federal campaign.
Kilrea testified O'Brien told him his name was "in the queue" for an appointment to the National Parole Board. He said he was then told to contact Baird about the appointment.
However, when Kilrea approached Baird, the Tory minister said he knew nothing about a federal appointment.
Kilrea dropped out of the campaign on Aug. 30, 2006. At the time, he said it was because he lacked the proper finances. He was never given a federal position.
Baird told reporters at the House of Commons on Monday that he is looking forward to taking the stand.
"I don't think there's any air to clear on my behalf," Baird said. "I'll be as co-operative as I have been from the outset and will continue to do so."
Edelson will continue his cross-examination of Kilrea on Wednesday.
The trial is expected to last up to nine weeks.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem