Sandy Garrosino, writing in the VanNatObserver, is having a hard time with that question:
...Part of me will always wonder if the Crown always harboured (consciously or unconsciously) a death-wish for this trial. On Thursday, they just quit. There might yet be convictions on the minor criminal charges, but this baby's done...
Her piece is one heck of a primer on all that went down and why it is, exactly, that Mr. Duffy will likely walk.
And it's hard not to agree with her thesis.
But, regardless all that, the following bit stuck in my craw:
...(F)or his part, Duffy says he didn’t even know Nigel Wright wrote the cheque, and thought the Conservative Party was managing the financial side of the business. No evidence entered at trial conflicts with any of this.
Nigel Wright on the other hand, was determined to put a stop to the “Chinese water torture” of the unraveling PR disaster.
Senior respected lawyers for the PMO and Duffy then negotiated Duffy's “agreement" to repay (secured under protest and duress). Ben Perrin testified that while Wright kept key details of the arrangement from him, but that he would have spoken up had there been any “whiff of criminality” involved.
"The potential for there to be a criminal issue here was never in our minds,” testified Perrin. "We thought we were dealing with a potential violation of a Senate rule."...
...And Ben Perrin wasn’t just some gussied-up notary public. He was lawyer to the PMO, senior policy advisor to the Department of Justice, a former law clerk to the Supreme Court of Canada, a former intern at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and now a professor of law at UBC...
Why is so hard for me to let that passage sail on by?
Because I can't fathom how something that has all the appearances of a massive, orchestrated criminal conspiracy can be viewed as nothing more than a little institutional rule fiddling by a passel of high-priced, highly-respected and highly-senior lawyers who should know better.
And as for the good Mr. Wright's involvement?...Well, we all know that Lord Black will be shocked, shocked I tell you, if anything further comes of that...After all, as the good Mr. Black himself told us awhile back, this (and everything else that is wrong with the non-gilded part of the world), is the fault of corporals everyhere.