Former Conservative agrees to give testimony on Robocalls

Former Conservative campaign worker given immunity in exchange for robocalls testimony

Former Guelph Conservative campaign worker Andrew Prescott has agreed to give evidence to Elections Canada in the investigation of a robocall that sent hundreds of opposition supporters to the wrong polling station.

Prescott, whose computer was linked to the call by Elections Canada investigators, had long declined to sit down with Elections Canada investigators on advice of his lawyer, Matthew Stanley.

But in November, federal prosecutors approached Stanley with an offer of immunity, which he took to Prescott. Under a deal reached this week, Prescott will give “full and complete testimony.” In exchange, prosecutors have promised not to use his testimony against him.

Prescott has always publicly maintained that he was not involved in the robocall, and said he has no information incriminating anyone else.

Investigators and Prescott have yet to make arrangements to sit down.

Prescott had no comment when contacted Wednesday.

Elections Canada has been investigating the fraudulent robocall since a few days after the May 2, 2011 election, tracing telephone records from voters who received the call back to the Edmonton firm used to send it. They eventually hit roadblocks, however, because whoever set up the calls covered their electronic tracks using a “burner” cell phone, untraceable gift cards and false names, including “Pierre Poutine.”

In April, almost two years later, former Conservative staffer Michael Sona was charged with one Elections Act violation in the case, based on evidence from six current or former Conservative staffers, all of whom told the agency that Sona bragged about his role in the scheme after the election.

The interviews were all arranged by Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton, who sat in on them, a degree of involvement that lawyers have suggested could pose problems in court.

Sona, who says he is innocent and is being used as a fall guy by the Conservative Party, is to go to trial June 2. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Earlier in the investigation, Prescott had co-operated with investigators, giving them an email, for instance, in which he provided Sona and campaign manager Ken Morgan with the contact information for Conservative robocall company RackNine, which was used to place the call.

After news of the investigation broke, under media pressure, Prescott hired Stanley, who instructed his client to stop talking to investigators.

In an ITO filed in May 2012, Elections Canada investigator Allan Mathews pointed to Internet records that gave him reason to believe that someone — “probably Andrew Prescott” — interacted with the person responsible for the misleading calls.

Morgan, who now lives in Kuwait, has never helped Elections Canada with its investigation.

The agency has pointed to his refusal to co-operate as an example of why it needs changes to the law to allow it to compel testimony.

In addition to the Guelph investigation, Elections Canada is looking into reports of allegedly unethical calls in ridings across Canada. The agency has said it plans to report on the progress of that investigation by the spring.

In May, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosely rejected a legal challenge of the election results in six Conservative ridings brought by the Council of Canadians. Mosely found there was no evidence that unethical calls affected the results, but found “there was an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person or persons with access to the (Conservatives’) CIMS database.”

The Conservatives say they had no role in any unethical calls in the last election, and have rejected the suggestion that there were any such calls beyond Guelph. The opposition have suggested the Conservatives cheated.

Former Conservative campaign worker given immunity in exchange for robocalls testimony
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Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post


And the opposition thinks the conservatives cheated because given the opportunity they did/would have.
Three freaking years later and three days into the CREEPshow trial charging Michael Sona with sending robocalls out to more than 6,000 Guelph voters in the May 2, 2011 federal election directing them to the wrong poll locations, a couple of new things stand out.

It was indeed Andrew Prescott who logged out of his own account at RackNine on election day only to log back in again a few minutes later on the Pierre Jones/Poutine account. He did so on the instructions of Guelph election campaign chair Ken Morgan who gave him a handwitten note with the Poutine credentials.

So Prescott was Poutine for Morgan in this instance of its use anyway. However Prescott has an immunity deal with the Crown to testify against Sona and says he didn't know the significance of the alternate log-in until Sona mentioned "Pierre" later in the day in a toast that Prescott didn't remember until April 2014!

So why isn't Guelph campaign chair Ken Morgan on trial here? Other than that he decamped to Kuwait in 2012 of course and has never been questioned by Elections Canada .

Pic below is the "draft statement Prescott read in court when he thought he wouldn't be able to attend CPC convention" because his name was connected to Poutine robocalls .

Note reference to Nixon's CREEP* and "widespread, national, well-organized scheme" and "not the work of any lone staffer". Prescott clarified yesterday his statement refers to national scheme, not Guelph.

Key witness in Michael Sona robocalls trial said scheme was national | Ottawa Citizen (external - login to view)

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