Mr. Pelletier's lawyers filed the challenge in Federal Court shortly before it closed on Wednesday, claiming sponsorship inquiry chairman Justice John Gomery was biased, exceeded his mandate and based his report on erroneous facts.
Mr. Pelletier's claim echoes the one made by Mr. Chrétien, which also says Mr. Gomery was wrong to believe the inquiry testimony of Chuck Guité, the man at the centre of the scandal, over that of Mr. Pelletier, Mr. Chrétien's former chief aide.
Mr. Pelletier's claim notes that Mr. Guité was considered an unreliable witness by the inquiry.
This is what he wants stricken from the record of history:
Mr. Pelletier met with and gave instructions to Mr. Guité without the participation of the Deputy Minister of PWGSC or any other senior official. The program
was commenced in haste without a public announcement of any kind, and
without clearly defined objectives, administrative guidelines or criteria.
Mr. Pelletier, with his many years of experience in public administration,
must have known that such a program of discretionary spending would be
open to error and abuse unless provided with rules, guidelines, controls,
safeguards and oversight specific to that program. He was not entitled to
assume that the mandatory rules stipulated in the Financial Administration Act
and by Treasury Board policies would provide sufficient protection against
the possibility of dishonesty, error and incompetence, or that Mr. Guité and
his staff could be trusted to administer such an unprecedented program with
perfect competence and probity.
If you believe Jean Pelletier and his boss, they were as pure as the driven snow until Chuck Guité, whose every word of Gomery testimony was a lie, came on the scene. Who wouldn't believe them?