The RCMP’s case against the country’s second-highest military officer was placed into the hands of prosecutors last summer, CBC News has learned.
Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is yet to face charges, however, and some experts say his wait for justice has not only taken too long, but it could drag out even further.
He is alleged to have leaked cabinet secrets to executives of a Quebec shipyard in the fall of 2015 as the new Liberal government debated the merits of a leased supply ship for the navy.
It has been exactly one year since Norman was unceremoniously suspended from his job. Sources with knowledge of the file who asked to remain anonymous said investigators handed the case to prosecutors last July.
The investigation remains active. The RCMP is not commenting on developments, RCMP spokesperson Stephanie Dumoulin said Monday.
Court documents released last spring said the Mounties were looking into Norman and one other unnamed government official, accusing them of leaking cabinet confidences to an executive at Chantier-Davie, a shipbuilding company based in Levis, Que.
The length of time it has taken to investigate the leaks has left some observers dumbfounded.
“It’s completely unprecedented and I think it’s shocking it has taken 12 months to still have no resolution,” said Dave Perry, an analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
“It has been a year of investigation, a year of putting this person and their families lives in limbo and it’s been a year that the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence has been without a vice chief of the defence staff.”
Investigations can take years
The high-profile case was sparked in late 2015 when a series of published reports detailed the newly elected Liberal government’s hesitation over a $668-million contract to lease a temporary supply ship for the navy.
The leaks, Treasury Board President Scott Brison told the RCMP, impeded the federal cabinet’s ability to do its job.
Norman was accused in court documents of possibly being the source of that leak. The information, police claim, was passed through a shipyard executive to Ottawa lobbyists and eventually to the media.
Search warrants ordered released by a judge last spring said the Mounties also suspected one other government official. Who that person might be is still unknown.
Following an RCMP raid on his home in early January of last year, Norman was suspended, but not stripped of his…