Globe and Mail March 25, 2019
The Prime Minister’s Office received information last fall that there was an internal dispute between the independent Director of Public Prosecutions Kathleen Roussel and one of the lower-ranking prosecutors handling the SNC-Lavalin bribery and fraud prosecution, a federal official says.
The information did not come from prosecutors on the case but rather from someone associated with SNC-Lavalin, added the official who was granted anonymity to discuss the matter freely.
Former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould first spoke publicly of the apparent dispute among prosecutors on Feb. 27, when she appeared in front of the justice committee of the House. According to Ms. Wilson-Raybould, two PMO officials – Quebec adviser Mathieu Bouchard and senior adviser Elder Marques – told her chief of staff on Sept. 16 that Ms. Roussel was opposed to a settlement with SNC-Lavalin, while a federal prosecutor on the file was looking to negotiate an out-of-court agreement.
Deputy justice minister Nathalie Drouin was asked at the justice committee on March 6 about whether it was appropriate for political officials to talk to prosecutors about cases. She said, “Crown prosecutors don’t have conversations about specific cases with the PMO.”