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Conservative leader Stephen Harper takes part in a question and answer session with Dan Kelly of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) as he makes a campaign stop in London, Ontario, on Wednesday, August 19, 2015.Sean Kilpatrick

Nigel Wright wrapped up six days as the star witness at Mike Duffy's trial on Wednesday, leaving behind a portrait of PMO damage control that has discomfited the Conservative election campaign.

His long, detailed testimony, which began last week with him citing a passage from the book of Matthew to explain why he kept secret the fact that he paid Mr. Duffy's $90,172.24 expense bill, ended Wednesday after he conceded that the story the Prime Minister's Office scripted under his direction was a misrepresentation. "I just didn't think it was a bad misrepresentation," he told the court.

In six days in the witness box, Mr. Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, repeated that he had not told Mr. Harper that he had secretly paid the Senator's expense bill, while it was publicly announced that Mr. Duffy would reimburse the money. But his testimony also detailed the PMO's work to script misleading statements, dictate the conclusions of Senate committees, press Mr. Duffy to avoid auditors and obtain a leak of the audit's then-unwritten conclusions.

It was also revealed that Ben Perrin, the former PMO legal counsel, told the RCMP that Ray Novak, the Prime Minister's current chief of staff and long-time close aide, had known that Mr. Wright was to pay the expense money – despite repeated denials. Mr. Perrin is the next witness, slated to begin his testimony Thursday.

So far, however, Mr. Harper has deflected questions about the testimony as he campaigns for re-election, and he refused to answer yesterday when asked whether Mr. Novak knew.

"I'm not going to discuss individual things before the court," he said. "There are two people, in my judgment, who are responsible: Mr. Duffy, who did not reimburse the taxpayers for expenses that I believe cannot be justified, and Mr. Wright, who although he did reimburse the taxpayers, he did so without my authority and contrary to my wishes.

"Those are the two people who are responsible and they have been held accountable."

That is essentially the same answer he has given for more than a week. But the new revelation – that Mr. Perrin told RCMP investigators Mr. Novak knew about Mr. Wright's cheque – reignited opposition criticism of the Conservative Leader.

"He hasn't told the truth," NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said in Surrey, B.C. "If Mr. Novak knew, Mr. Harper knew. So, one plus one makes two."

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Mr. Harper has to come clean. "This comes down to whether Canadians can trust the Prime Minister and his office. Canadians are not fools," Mr. Trudeau said in Winnipeg.

At Mr. Duffy's trial in Ottawa, there were accusations that political agendas had intruded in the case, as Crown prosecutor Mark Holmes charged that some of the cross-examination of Mr. Wright by Mr. Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, was "politically motivated."

At issue was an e-mail that Mr. Wright sent on May 14, 2013, to a group of PMO staffers, in which he said that "the PM knows, in broad terms only, that I personally assisted Duffy when I was getting him to agree to repay the expenses."

Mr. Holmes objected that Mr. Bayne's inquiries weren't relevant to Mr. Duffy's case, but Mr. Bayne argued that he had a right to question Mr. Wright's credibility – and Ontario Court Judge Charles Vaillancourt let him proceed.

Mr. Wright insisted that the personal assistance he was referring to was the fact that he was personally involved in speaking to Mr. Duffy and developing media lines. "The personal part was it wasn't all done through other staff members, that I was engaged and involved personally," he testified.

Earlier, Mr. Wright had conceded that he oversaw the drafting of public statements that were misrepresentations – such as when Mr. Duffy claimed he would repay the money – but added he just didn't think it was a "bad misrepresentation." He also admitted that advising Mr. Duffy to refuse to meet with auditors did not meet the high standards of transparency that the public statements claimed, but he thought that since the money was repaid and the issue closed, "there was integrity to it."

As a legal matter, Mr. Wright's testimony was, for prosecutors, intended to help make the case that Mr. Duffy had asked for a bribe – the $90,000 payment. Mr. Bayne, meanwhile, sought to show that Mr. Duffy was always reluctant to go along with that plan, and kept indicating he would rather have independent auditors review his claims, and make his case.

In fact, Mr. Wright testified that Mr. Duffy had told a PMO staffer that he had leaked the e-mails that exposed Mr. Wright's $90,000 cheque – and Mr. Bayne argued that was consistent with Mr. Duffy wanting the truth to get out.

There will now be more witnesses who worked in Mr. Harper's PMO – Mr. Perrin, the legal counsel, and likely Chris Woodcock, the former director of "issues management," which typically means controlling political damage.

For Mr. Harper and the Conservative campaign, it means another week of potentially embarrassing testimony – and so far, it appears they plan to hunker down and ride it out, hoping they can then put the Duffy affair behind them.

With a report from The Canadian Press