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Key memo contradicts testimony in the court fight over Canucks ownership @NHLdotcom

VANCOUVER (CP) - A memo written by a lawyer involved in brokering the sale of the Vancouver Canucks contradicts testimony made by the team's owner Francesco Aquilini, B.C. Supreme Court was told Wednesday.

The Oct. 29, 2004, note, written by Lyall Knott, said Aquilini called him and relayed information about a possible purchase for 20 per cent of the team in a conference call with the Canucks owner and management. Aquilini has told the trial that he didn't start serious negotiations with Canucks owner John McCaw until Nov. 3, 2004, and two days later they had a deal.

Aquilini's former partners, Ryan Beedie and Tom Gaglardi, have accused Aquilini of negotiating the sale agreement while their offer was still on the table.

Gaglardi and Beedie want the court to void the agreement.

"I put it to you that you intentionally did not tell the court about the conference call, because you didn't want the court to know you were deeply involved in negotiations by Oct. 29," said Murray Clemens, the lawyer for the Gaglardi team.

"No. That's not true," Aquilini replied.

He insisted the deal only took two days to negotiate, days after Gaglardi and Beedie were told their deal was off.

Aquilini told the trial he made "big block terms" towards the agreement during the October conference call, but there were no specifics.

Clemens accused Aquilini of knowing his earlier testimony was false and said the Knott memo proved it.

"You had to maintain your story that you didn't begin your transaction until after the Beedie, Gaglardi transaction failed. Correct?"

"No," Aquilini countered.

In earlier testimony, Knott was accused of perjuring himself on the witness stand over the same memo.

Knott's face turned red and was looked shocked as Gaglardi lawyer Irwin Nathanson accused him of perjury.

"The negotiations began Nov. 3," Knott said.

His memo said there was a recommendation from Canucks management to reject Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie's offer and Knott testified he assumed that deal was dead.

The court has already heard that former owner John McCaw called Gaglardi telling him the deal was off just hours after accepting Aquilini's bid for half of the hockey club.

A lawyer for Gaglardi plans to show a video Thursday of Aquilini practising his statement to the media and answers to questions he might face about the sale.

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