Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More questions afoot on BC Legislature raid case

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column - News, Views & Attitude
Tuesday October 17, 2006

More questions afoot


As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

- Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Did the RCMP approach the federal Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. in March 2005 looking for information regarding the Paul Martin leadership campaign in connection with the upcoming B.C. Legislature raid trial?

Did the RCMP visit LPC B.C. headquarters itself in their search for more documents to be used in the trial of former provincial B.C. Liberal ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk? Or is all of the above a red herring rumour that never occurred?

One thing is clear - neither the federal Liberal Party nor the RCMP want to talk about it.

24 hours contacted both the RCMP and the LPC B.C. after getting a tip from a source that the police had an interest in some aspect of the Paul Martin leadership campaign in B.C. as part of their investigation - and that it happened well after Basi and Virk were first charged with breach of trust in December, 2004.

But like so many other aspects of this troubling case that began with a police search of the B.C. Legislature on Dec. 28, 2003, answers are very hard to come by.

"The party at this time - we're not going to comment on the issue," LPC B.C. Executive Director Mark Grant told me last week. "Because it's a matter that is under investigation we're not prepared to comment. If the RCMP wants to comment on it, it's up to them."

But guess what? They don't.

"I spoke to the commercial crime people and they tell me it's an ongoing investigation with no other details," said RCMP spokesman Corporal Pierre Lemaitre. "We don't discuss any ongoing investigation basically to not have any effect on the investigation."

One can only hope that eventually all will come out when Basi, Virk and Aneal Basi, David's cousin who is facing money laundering charges, have their day in court starting Dec. 4.

David Basi was a federal Liberal leadership supporter of Paul Martin and connected to other leadership campaign backers, including lobbyist Erik Bornman, who will be a crown witness against Basi.

Unfortunately this case has faced repeated and lengthy delays, the most recent coming on Sept. 18 in B.C. Supreme Court. David Basi's lawyer Michael Bolton explained the latest delay in an interview.

"Basically the defence is still awaiting some disclosure and we requested some further time and the judge put the hearing over to Oct. 30," Bolton said, adding that there will also be an appearance on Oct. 20 to discuss trial scheduling issues.

Meanwhile, more questions, more mystery.

Hear Bill Tieleman Mondays at 10 a.m. on CKNW's Bill Good Show. E-mail Bill at: weststar@telus.net

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Vancouver 24 hours published a column on Oct. 3, 2006 that mentioned the B.C. Securities Commission hearing into allegations involving Pacific International Securities Inc. We wish to make it clear that the B.C. Securities Commission dismissed all charges against Pacific International Securities and that the company was not found guilty of anything.

The reason mention was made of Pacific International Securities was simply to question the ability of the B.C. Securities Commission to adequately regulate the securities industry after spending millions of dollars on a failed investigation and hearing. We did not intend to suggest any wrongdoing on the part of Pacific International Securities and apologize if any readers drew a contrary inference as such an inference was neither intended nor warranted.


Erin Airton said...

Bill - welcome to the blog world! Good to see you online.


Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks to Pierre Bourque at www.Bourque.org for featuring my column on the Basi-Virk case onhis website today. Always worth checking Bourque for the latest in political news and more.

BC Mary said...

Bill, welcome to Bloggerdome.

I've bookmarked you, looking forward to lots more breaking news.

Another blog (ahem) has featured your Basi-Virk column today.

Best wishes,

BC Mary
The Legislature Raids