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Harper's lawyers attack former cabinet minister's defamation suit

A lawyer for the prime minister is delivering a withering attack on a defamation case brought by a former cabinet minister.

An Ontario Superior Court is hearing arguments by a variety of lawyers defending themselves against the suit brought by Helena Guergis.

Guergis was turfed from cabinet and caucus in 2010 after allegations of possible criminal and ethical misconduct by her were heard by Stephen Harper.

She filed a lawsuit him and others last year, arguing the unproven allegations damaged her reputation and political career.

But Harper's lawyer Robert Staley is calling parts of Guergis's statement of claim "gibberish" and not based in fact.

He says up to 95 per cent of her allegations should be disregarded because Harper's actions are protected under the concepts of Crown and parliamentary privilege.

And he points out that the Canadian Human Rights Commission last year threw out a complaint she made for those same reasons.

For more from the Canadian Press scroll down The Tyee's main page or click here.

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