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May 2, 2005
An End To The Publication Ban?

Requests for delays on trials for Jean Brault and Chuck Guit may result in the lifting of the publication ban currently in place for Guit's testimony. Lawyers for the two key Adscam figures requested continuances until September to prepare their defenses, with Justice Gomery due to rule on releasing embargoed testimony tomorrow or Wednesday:

Lawyers for Jean Brault and Chuck Guit have requested that their clients' joint trial on fraud and conspiracy charges be delayed until September.

Jury selection is currently scheduled for June 6 but lawyers for the two men say the sponsorship inquiry will still be sitting at that time.

A judge will decide Wednesday whether to grant the request.

Just as before, the proximity of the criminal trial provided one of the key rationales for Gomery's publication ban. He based the blackout for Canadian citizens on the notion that with a trial so close to the inquiry hearings, the jury pool risked getting tainted by free reporting of what politicians and the media have already heard. With that proximity eliminated, Gomery has little excuse to keep the proceedings hidden from the Canadian citizenry.

In fact, Brault tried getting a postponement during his inquiry testimony to the fall, but only succeeded in pushing the trial back an extra few weeks instead. Perhaps with Guit also requesting an extension, the two may be more successful in opening the summer up for a potential election campaign. If Guit's testimony proves as explosive as that of Brault, it could touch off another wave of voter revulsion that might finally crumble the supports for Paul Martin and the long-time reign of the Liberal Party.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 2, 2005 6:05 PM

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