BC Rail: More Questions than Answers...

BC's provincial election and STV referendum takes place Tuesday May 12th.
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Re: BC Rail: More Questions than Answers...

Post by NAB »

From: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ ... itics/home

Lawyers to question ties among politicians, bureaucrats, RCMP
Article Comments BILL CURRY

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

April 23, 2009 at 4:40 AM EDT

OTTAWA — The defence in the BC Rail political corruption trial will centre on accusations the RCMP tainted its case through inappropriate political calculations and sacrificed the facts in an effort to spin the media, according to factums filed in the Supreme Court of Canada.

The defence will also question the personal and political relationships among elected officials, high-level bureaucrats, lobbyists, political-party operatives and RCMP investigators.

The factums provide the latest synopsis of the defence's plans in the long-delayed criminal case against Dave Basi and Bob Virk, two former ministerial aides in the B.C. Liberal government.

The two men are accused of corruption, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering in relation to the 2004 privatization of BC Rail. Aneal Basi, a former government communications officer and Dave Basi's cousin, faces charges of money laundering.

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...The latest delay is due to a dispute over a secret informant.

Special prosecutor William Berardino is appealing a Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling, upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal, that might have allowed the lawyer for the defendants to be present during testimony from the informant.

The Supreme Court of Canada heard the arguments yesterday, where Mr. Berardino warned that future informants would be afraid to come forward to police unless the Supreme Court overturns the lower court's ruling.

Dave Basi's lawyers said a fair trial is at stake and that secret hearings have no place in a democracy like Canada. Aneal Basi's lawyers, in their factum, question whether the Crown even has a secret informant.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police intervened in favour of the appeal, pointing out that police informants have faced gruesome retribution in incidents where their identity has been revealed.

The Criminal Lawyers' Association (Ontario) spoke against the appeal, stating that defence lawyers would never violate a court order not to share certain protected information with their client.

The Supreme Court justices said they will issue a decision at a later date.

While the matter before the Supreme Court is narrow, the information contained in the factum from Dave Basi's lawyers offers a broad glimpse of their case.

"The disclosure material is massive and complex, particularly with respect to potential trial issues," it states.

It then goes on to list the potential issues, which include:

"the personal and political interrelationships" among elected officials, bureaucrats, party officials and RCMP investigators;

"the RCMP's deception" in its successful request of a 2003 search warrant for the B.C. Legislature;

"the extent to which some of the RCMP's investigative decisions were based on political and other inappropriate considerations" that may have led to the loss of evidence in the defence's favour;

and "the RCMP's strategy in putting a 'media spin' on their investigative actions which was borne of a high degree of sensitivity to public perception and which bore little relation to the real facts of the case."

The factum does not offer specifics on the defence's concerns regarding the RCMP. However, the factum from Aneal Basi does raise one RCMP relationship.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett is quoted in a June, 2007, ruling related to disclosure, saying that an issue has been raised about Kevin DeBruyckere, a key RCMP investigator in the BC Rail case. The RCMP inspector's brother-in-law is Kelly Reichert, the executive director of the B.C. Liberals.

Judge Bennett also noted in her ruling that: "It is clear that [former finance] Minister [Gary] Collins was under police suspicion in December 2003. Requests were made for briefings to the highest level of the RCMP, yet there is nothing that I have seen in writing that indicates who made the decision to stop pursuing Minister Collins as a suspect and when that decision was made."
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 22985
Joined: Apr 19th, 2006, 1:33 pm

Re: BC Rail: More Questions than Answers...

Post by NAB »

From: http://www.timescolonist.com/Premier+ML ... story.html

Premier Gordon Campbell and 16 other MLAs will soon be served with a request to produce any e-mails they have related to the controversial $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail.

Defence lawyers in the Basi-Virk trial Thursday said they had filed a so-called third-party records application for the e-mail accounts of Campbell and other MLAs.

The application, which is expected to be heard June 1, was not referred to in any great detail during a brief appearance before B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett in Vancouver.

But outside court, Michael Bolton, the lawyer for accused David Basi, explained that the defence filed the application after previous disclosure requests had been stymied.

“It involves 17 either currently or past elected officials, including cabinet ministers. The defence doesn’t have this material in any comprehensive way and we require it.”

He confirmed Campbell is on the list of MLAs.

Bolton noted that some part of accused Bobby Virk’s e-mail server had been disclosed to the defence and “that’s part of the basis for the application.”

Ed Montague, a lawyer appearing on behalf of Michael Morton, executive director of the Liberal government caucus, told the judge that some of the MLAs may wish to be individually represented.

He noted that legislature is not sitting and there is no government or opposition caucus.

The court also set a date for June 5 to hear the third-party records application for Patrick Kinsella, a Liberal party insider whose connections with the sale have come under close scrutiny during the pre-trial hearings. At hearings in March, the defence suggested Kinsella had worked for both CN and B.C. Rail in CN’s winning bid.

Kevin McCullough, who represents Virk, called the sale a “fix” from the beginning and a “political sham.”

The NDP, which unveiled records indicating Kinsella had been paid $300,000 to work for B.C. Rail, accused Kinsella of playing “both sides of the track” in the deal. Kinsella denied those allegations, saying he’d been paid to help work on a core review of government services.

Kinsella was the co-chair of the Liberal party campaigns in 2001 and 2005.

Virk and Basi are charged with accepting a benefit, fraud and breach of trust related to the sale of B.C. Rail. Aneal Basi is accused of money-laundering for allegedly accepting money and transferring it to Basi, his cousin. The three were charged after a December 2003 police raid on the legislature.

The defence position on the charges is that the accused were acting at all times at the behest of their superiors.
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Lao-Tzu

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