MONTREAL - Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe called Prime Minister Stephen Harper a "control freak" on Monday over a Tory attempt to selectively release information from a sealed search warrant.

The Conservative Party's decision to hand out court documents to hand-picked reporters in Ottawa Sunday shows Harper is obsessed with manipulating the public, Duceppe said.

"It shows the real nature of Stephen Harper," he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"It's a contempt of Parliament... this is a control freak, the old Reformist Stephen Harper is reappearing, the real nature of Stephen Harper is clear now."

A search warrant related to a raid on Conservative headquarters is to be released Monday, but the Tories gathered certain media outlets at an Ottawa hotel to give them details in advance.

Duceppe said the handling of the controversy fits into a "an extremely dangerous" pattern of Tory attempts to manipulate the public.

The warrant, obtained by The Canadian Press outside the closed-door meeting, accuses the federal Conservatives of making "false and misleading" statements in their financial returns for the last election.

The warrant also says the Conservatives exceeded election spending limits by $1 million.

NDP Leader Jack Layton called the allegation "very, very serious."

"It appears after 20 years of ethically challenged government, we've got a party that apparently spent as much as a million dollars more than they were supposed to on advertising," Layton said in an interview.

"That doesn't make for a level playing field and a fairness in elections."

The Tories have denied they've done anything wrong and say they were surprised when the RCMP raided their offices last week at the request of Elections Canada.

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