OTTAWA - The memory, credibility and political motivations of the chief accuser came under sustained attack Tuesday at Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien's trial on influence-peddling charges.

In the second day of what will likely be an extended cross-examination, Terry Kilrea was unsure of key dates in the summer of 2006 when he alleges O'Brien offered him an inducement to drop out of the municipal mayoral race.

O'Brien is facing trial in Ontario Superior Court after pleading not guilty to two counts of influence peddling.

Kilrea acknowledged Tuesday that the dates he gave in a sworn affidavit almost three years ago may have been "off by a week."

Defence lawyer Michael Edelson raised repeated media interviews in which Kilrea asserted the accuracy of his affidavit against O'Brien.

In fact, much of Edelson's cross-examination consisted of entering into evidence media articles about Kilrea's municipal political platform and statements over the course of two mayoral campaigns in 2003 and 2006.

The grilling seldom addressed Kilrea's specific allegations against O'Brien, but instead served as a dissection of a local political gadfly who appeared to be in over his head.

Edelson repeatedly tripped up Kilrea on the kind of routine, self-aggrandizing political rhetoric practised on a daily basis just a few blocks away on Parliament Hill.

At one point, Edelson raised a published claim by Kilrea that he'd received assurance on a municipal issue from Tory cabinet minister John Baird.

Forced to concede he hadn't actually spoken to Baird, Kilrea claimed his first-person newspaper account really meant his campaign team, not him personally.

"You just lied under oath," Edelson said.

The case is being tried by judge alone, and the Crown did not routinely respond to the defence lawyer's courtroom theatrics.

The only intervention was for Edelson to permit Kilrea enough time to finish his responses before peppering him with the next question.

The prosecution claims O'Brien offered Kilrea - a fellow right-wing mayoral candidate - a lucrative five-year appointment to the National Parole Board if he would drop out of the mayoral race.

The federal appointment allegedly was to be arranged through senior members of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government.

Kilrea did drop out of the race, but was never appointed to the parole board.

Kilrea was forced repeatedly to say he couldn't remember specific events or conversations unrelated to his formal allegations against O'Brien.

"I can't remember the conversation . . . verbatim," Kilrea lamented at one point.

Kilrea, however, did recount verbatim talks with O'Brien during his testimony on Monday for the Crown.

Kilrea works for the Ontario attorney general issuing summons and regularly fills out reports, Edelson noted.

"It's important to get the dates right in your line of work, yes?" asked the defence lawyer.

Kilrea agreed.

Edelson then established that Kilrea did not inform the Crown or police until March that his 2006 affidavit may have included inaccurate dates.

Edelson went on to raise Kilrea's unsuccessful mayoral bid of 2003 and some of his rhetoric, including Kilrea's attacks on incumbent Bob Chiarelli. Kilrea had publicly insinuated that Chiarelli, a Liberal, was in line for a federal appointment and wouldn't complete his term.

Edelson then pointedly noted that Kilrea wound up endorsing Chiarelli for mayor - "one of the hated Liberals" - over O'Brien in 2006 when Kilrea finally quit the mayoral race citing financial reasons.

"What was in it for you to support Chiarelli?" Edelson twice demanded of Kilrea.

Kilrea denied there was any offer from Chiarelli, but acknowledged hearing rumours of some kind of inducement in the local media.

O'Brien went on to win the mayoralty.

Much of the Crown's case against O'Brien relies on Kilrea's testimony, backed by emails written by O'Brien himself.