Thursday, March 01, 2007

Senior Conservative John Reynolds asks why RCMP allegedly seized federal Liberal donor lists in BC in Basi-Virk investigation

March 1, 2007

Senior Tory wants answers on Basi/Virk

By BILL TIELEMAN, 24 HOURS

Why did the RCMP allegedly seize the donor lists of the Liberal Party of Canada B.C. branch in March 2005 in connection with the investigation of breach-of-trust charges against former provincial government aides David Basi and Bob Virk?

That's what senior federal Conservative John Reynolds is asking after Basi and Virk's lawyers filed a disclosure application Monday in B.C. Supreme Court claiming that RCMP "attended the federal Liberal Party's B.C. office in March 2005 and seized donor lists."

Reynolds, 2006 Conservative election campaign co-chair, said if the RCMP seized donor lists the reasons should be made public.

"I don't know what the RCMP were looking for, but we should be able to know why they seized the Liberal donor lists," Reynolds told 24 hours. "There's no question that there's been a lot of things happening that there are no answers to and the public wants answers."

When 24 hours asked last October if RCMP had visited LPC B.C. headquarters, executive director Mark Grant declined to comment. Grant did not return phone and e-mail messages yesterday. RCMP media relations did not respond to phone messages by press time.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NOT PUBLISHED IN 24 HOURS

And Reynolds said questions remain about a $90,000 Harmony charter flight of Young Liberals to the 2003 federal leadership convention that made Paul Martin leader and prime minister.

“There’s always been questions about how that airplane was paid for,” he said.

Former B.C. Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins – Basi’s boss - became Harmony CEO in December 2004 and quit this past December.

Reynolds also said he is disturbed that the Basi-Virk case could be thrown out of court over claims that police wiretaps were improperly obtained and are therefore inadmissible as evidence.

Defence lawyers have previously indicated that they intend to file a Charter of Rights challenge to wiretap evidence after alleging that police failed twice to obtain a judge’s authorization because of Parliamentary privilege.

The defence claims police reapplied for cellphone wiretaps to another judge without disclosing that the address attached to the cellphone was in the B.C. Legislature.

“It’s very frustrating to read in the paper that the whole case might be thrown out because of the way police search warrants were obtained,” Reynolds said.

7 comments:

A. Bahia said...

Are we beginning to see another RCMP investigation that could hurt the Federal Liberal in the upcoming election?

I am sure that key crown witnesses and other people who have been drawn into this affair are not looking forward to April 2 - which looks like will be right in the middle of a federal election.

Anonymous said...

Lets piece this together. In documents filed by defence lawyers it states Bornmann accused Bruce Clark, the chief fundraiser for the Liberals in BC of bribing basi and virk. The documents also state the Elmhirst was funneling information to Bornmann. Why would the rcmp go to the federal liberal offices in bc unless they were looking for something connected to the above. Looks to me like Bornmann is becoming quite a headache to his friends in the federal liberals. Maybe the person who invited him to the state luncheons is feeling just a little bit nervous. Time will tell as more stuff is sure to come out.

Ken said...

Bill has anybody called Elmhirst and asked him to comment about his alleged involvement in passing information to Bornmann? Did Elmhirst invite Bornmann to the state luncheons? Did they attend these together, did they sit together at the same table? I think these are legitimate questions to ask the former president of the liberal party in bc.

Bill Tieleman said...

I will once again warn posters to this website that language is very important and I will be forced to reject any comment that I believe is questionable given that this matter is before the court.

Two comments have been rejected today and to be specific, conjecture based on allegations that are unproven is not going to be published here.

I understand the difficulty in negotiating around a fair comment and a fair trial but I will err on the side of caution here.

If your comment is rejected, take a look and think about making it more acceptable and resubmit.

Anonymous said...

I have been following the Abramoff scandal in the US. There are lots of similarities except one. The US authorities only gave a corrupt lobbyist, Abramoff, a deal (a lighter sentence) after he plead guilty and it was certain he would serve time in prison, which is what he is currently doing. How can Bornmann, who according to documents released by the court, get such a sweet heart deal of complete immunity after admitting to allegedly bribing public officials. Bribery implies you seduced somebody. Is the rcmp that desperate they would give complete immunity to a person who readily admits, according to court documents, of bribing public officials? Our neighbors down south appear to have a higher standard when it comes to dealing with alleged corruption in politics. No sweetheart deals, if you break the law you are going to jail, anything less would bring the administration of justice into disrepute! Abramoff is serving time in prison while he cooperates in a massive investigation involving political aides and politicians. Bornmann is living the good life. It seems to me Abramoff has infinitely more credibility serving hard time for his crimes while he continues to cooperate with the authorities. Lets compare that to Bornmann. One final thing, we all assumed Bornmann cooperated with the rcmp from day one. According to documents filed in court it states Bornmann told the rcmp the day of the raids that "aneal basi was a bona fide contractor working for him". It appears, according to documents released by the court, that Bornmann changed his story after he was given a deal for immunity. The key crown witness starts to change his story, this is not insignificant.

Steven said...

I read the documents filed by defence counsel. In paragraph 71 it states Bornmann and Kieran were tipped off by the Special Prosecutor about the impending release of search warrant information where it is alleged by Bornmann and Kieran they bribed public officials. In the documents filed by the defence it states "Mr. Kieran in his statements to the RCMP in 2004 also made an allegation of a payment to Mr. Basi that would have been unlawful". This would then tend to cast doubt on Kieran's assertion that he was voluntarily "retiring" to his home on Pender Island. The document goes on to state "It is notable that Mr. Kieran announced his retirement from lobbying at the time this Court ordered search warrant information released in March 2006". We keep getting this play with words from people who are key crown witnesses. How can we believe anything they say when its becoming obvious there is more to this than we have been led to believe. Its very disturbing to say the least.

Grenwolde said...

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