POLITICS

Benjamin Perrin, Ex-PMO Lawyer, Continues Testimony At Duffy Trial

08/21/2015 08:07 EDT | Updated 08/21/2016 05:59 EDT

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper's former legal adviser told a court today he was kept in the dark about a great deal of the negotiations between Sen. Mike Duffy and the Prime Minister's Office.

And Benjamin Perrin says learning that Nigel Wright had decided to personally repay $90,000 worth of Duffy's expenses blindsided him.

He told the court in hindsight he was clearly not acting with all of the information at hand and suggested he was glad he had already planned to leave his job as negotiations between Duffy and the PMO over the repayment came to a close.

Perrin testified that Duffy's lawyer was briefly insistent that the deal include a promise that Conservative senators would never refer the matter of Duffy's expenses to the RCMP, but the PMO considered that language untenable.

Perrin said while at the time no one thought Duffy had committed a crime, they couldn't commit — legally or politically — never to refer the matter to police.

It's Perrin's second day on the stand and yesterday he threw a bombshell into the Conservative campaign by saying that Harper's current chief of staff, Ray Novak, did in fact know about Wright's decision to pay for Duffy, something the campaign has denied.

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