Toronto – Canada's ethics commissioner said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau improperly pressured the country's former attorney-general to halt the criminal prosecution of a company in a conflict of interest case.
The report comes just before the official start of campaigning for the October 21 general election and it threatens to reinflame a scandal that rocked the government earlier this year, causing a drop in poll ratings that had since abated.
Ethics commissioner Mario Dion said Trudeau's attempts to influence the former attorney-general and justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, were contrary to the constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.
"The prime minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms Wilson-Raybould," Dion wrote.
"The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms Wilson-Raybould."