Lowe says he did nothing wrong as laywers spar in voting fraud case
Allegations of voting irregularities are back in a New Brunswick court, but Wednesday's hearing did not go as planned.
Instead of delving into the election results in the riding of Saint John Harbour, the hearing ended with one lawyer demanding another be removed from the case.
Progressive Conservative candidate Barry Ogden says there were voting irregularities in the riding. Ogden lost To Liberal Gerry Lowe by just 10 votes.
It was the closest result in the September election, one that needed to be confirmed by a judicial recount.
Lowe says Wednesday's fireworks began even before the court hearing started.
“The gentleman from Fredericton, the lawyer for Elections (New Brunswick), he was really mad,” said Lowe. “And he was over arguing with the lawyer for the other side there. I didn't understand it, but I knew something was wrong.”
The two sides were sparring over a document that Ogden's lawyer, Kelly Van Buskirk described as “extraordinarily important to the interests of the public.”
But Fred McElman, Elections New Brunswick's lawyer, downplayed the significance saying: “this document is nothing more than notes on which further discussion was to be based.”
McElman says that document is covered by solicitor-client privilege and it should not be in Van Buskirk's possession, nor should he have referred to it in court.
McElman then cited the New Brunswick Law Society's Code of Conduct, and asked the judge to remove Van Buskirk from the case.
Neither McElman, nor Van Buskirk responded to questions after the hearing.
As he adjourned, Justice Hugh McLellan told the court: “there may be a dramatic turn of events on Friday.”
As for Lowe, he said “you know, this gets to me; it does … I know I didn't do nothing wrong and I'm pretty sure no one on my team did anything wrong.”
Lowe says he's anxious for any questions surrounding the election in his riding to be settled once and for all.
There was a witness who was supposed to testify Wednesday, perhaps to clarify the voting results in Saint John Harbour, but that never happened.
That may happen on Friday,
Though first, a judge will have to decide whether Ogden's lawyer should be removed from the case.
Like his lawyer, Ogden also did not answer questions after the hearing.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.