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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's Top Adviser Resigns But Denies Wrongdoing

File photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

File photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Principal secretary Gerald Butts said he's leaving in order to defend himself without distracting from the prime minister's work.

Toronto: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's top adviser has resigned while denying allegations he pressured Canada's former attorney general to avoid prosecuting a major Canadian engineering firm.

Principal secretary Gerald Butts has been Trudeau's closet adviser and best friend since university. Butts issued a statement on Monday denying that he or anybody else in Trudeau's office pressured Jody Wilson-Raybould.

He said he's leaving in order to defend himself without distracting from the prime minister's work.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported this month that Trudeau or his staff pressured Wilson-Raybould to try to avoid a criminal prosecution of Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin over allegations of corruption involving government contracts in Libya.

Critics say that would be improper political meddling in a legal case. Wilson-Raybould resigned from the cabinet last week but gave no reasons.

first published:February 19, 2019, 07:26 IST