Monday, April 02, 2007

Basi-Virk Case - the Amazing Disappearing Hearing!

The planned April 2 - 9:30 a.m. BC Supreme Court update hearing prior to the David Basi-Bob Virk-Aneal Basi trial simply disappeared!

Arriving at BC Supreme Court this morning I was surprised to find that I could not find the hearing in front of Justice Elizabeth Bennett anywhere on the court docket for the day.

A call to one of the defence lawyers was required to find that the hearing has been put off yet again - to Tuesday April 10 at 9:30 a.m.

Even more mysterious, the online Supreme Court docket apparently has a clear listing of the hearing for all to see.

Par for the course on what has become the most-delayed, complex and inaccessible to the public case in recent memory.

Lastly, the question now is whether the planned April 16 Supreme Court on the defence disclosure application will proceed on time. That hearing was booked for up to three weeks of court time.

And on April 13 the defence was scheduled to file a Charter of Rights application objecting to wiretap authorizations - a move that if successful could lead to the entire case being thrown out of court.

Stay tuned - for more delay and more lack of information.


JM said...

Bill I was also interested in what happened this morning. I was told the special prosecutor requested the date be moved to April 10. Yet another delay by the crown, what do they have to hide?? Good story by Ian Mulgrew this morning. I want to know more about the cozy relationships between senior government officials and the lobbyists.

Anonymous said...

I'm sympathetic with your consternation about the docket and today's invisible hearing.

Not only are the folks at Criminal Registry not responding to Madame Justice Bennett's order that the public interest is paramount in this case, they can't even keep the schedule up to date and accurate.

I've been looking for a mention of the Opposition's 70 questions in the MSM too - nada.

What I can't understand is why somebody like yourself isn't on the blower today asking why none of your fellow ink-stained wretches are wondering why Berardino hasn't complained in public about the apparent unwillingness of someone on Government to order swift compliance with discovery.

If the man really wanted to make a point he could, and probably should, resign.

This situation had gone way beyond funny and moved into bizarre. How many stillborn trial dates have we breezed through now? My guess it's approaching 10 if not there already.

Can you imagine what Patrick Fitzgerald would do with a similar case of foot dragging in the US?

And can you imagine what the US media would do with such a story?

Don't you have any contacts in Denver that might be interested in a little update about what OmniTRAX is possibily involved in?

There must be a way of moving this story to the front pages where it properly belongs.

BC Mary said...

Anonymous 10:49 just about said it all ... except, could I just add my reaction to our man the Special Prosecutor resigning.

It would only encourage the people who are dodging and delaying and denying him the documents he needs.

Worse: it would delay things while a new Special Prosecutor got up to speed. And by then, Justice Bennett would likely be faced with a Charter challenge because Basi, Virk, Basi have suffered too long.

Well, the public the public? We have suffered too. So I think Ol' Bill Berardino needs to be drop-kicked through the goal posts and told to work day and night, citing miscreants for contempt of court, and getting this damn trial rolling.

Anonymous said...

7 trial dates set and missed by the end of February 2007 (para 74 of the Notice of application for discovery).

7 phases of disclosure package releases from Jan 19, 2005 - Feb 15, 2007. We're now into April of 2007 and the only substantive movement apart from the defence notice of Feb 26 is 2000 pages of defence 'problems' with Crown disclosure. (para 73 of the notice)

This is not funny, it's pathetic. If someone doesn't ask the Master of the Rolls to tax Berardino's accounts after this snooze fest it will be a miracle.

TO say nothing of the amazing disappearing concept of "vital public interest".

Now where have I heard that before.

Bill, ya gotta get on the phone.

Gazetteer said...

So, if......

....this guy were to come along and disappear the entire thing, would anybody but Mr. T, BC Mary and her Anon-O-Mice, and maybe a few blogoholics even notice?



Anonymous said...

This case is going to court, make no mistake. The groundwork is being laid for a massive civil case for damages. For those that hope it doesn't see the light of day, they are wrong. Defence counsel do not go to the extreme lengths these people have gone to for a stay of proceedings. When I heard the motion was 2000 pages in length, that made it clear. There is another game being played, this one will play out in a civil case and it will lead to demands for a full public inquiry.

JD said...

The solution to the delays is simple, they should release all the documents, what does berardino and the government have to hide? Why is berardino protecting his star witnesses? Seems like Mason's story exposed some nasty little surprises about cozy relationships between lobbyists and senior DM's in the campbell government. My question is, whats next?? Campbell is going to distance himself by getting the lawyers for bc rail involved. When people complain about not getting documents critical to the case he will hold up his hands and tell us "hey its not me, its the lawyers for bc rail who won't release those documents." Which makes me wonder, what is in those documents that prompted the government lawyer to go to court and tell the judge "we need to involve the lawyers for bc rail". This is turning into a feeding frenzy of lawyers - and the end result is going to be the public gets shafted!!

Message to Bill Berardino, at $550 per hour pick up the phone, call your friend campbell and tell him to "release the documents". Then have a sip of tea, eat some crumpets and pick up the phone and call Kelly Reichart's brother in law, you know the one in charge of the supposed bc rail investigation. Wipe your face with a fine linen cloth, and tell debruyckere to "release the documents". In one hour you have saved taxpayers literally thousands of dollars, the documents have been released and we can all GET ON WITH IT!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd actually be really interested to know if the good Sergeant Debruyckere is still working for "E" Division Commercial Crime or if he's moved on to Ottawa. There must be someone among the horsemen who realizes this is beginning to smell like the stables at "Depot" Division in Regina.

Last week there were some courageous officers who spoke out about the fraudsters in personnel and pension services; you'd think someone in Vancouver or Victoria Commercial Crime would have as much jam as that wouldn't you?

BC Mary said...

Bill, your commentors are providing some fascinating information.

It's a good feeling to see this kind of informed discussion beginning to heat up.

What a great thing it was, that Robin Mathews decided to show up in Supreme Courtroom 53 this morning -- and then had the moxie to follow up the No-Shows and provide the reasons why. Otherwise, what would we know? Boom all.

More citizens would be doing the nation a favour by attending these court sessions. I'd welcome their reports at and I bet Bill would too.

That's Bill Tieleman, of course. Not Ol' Bill Berardino labouring on our behalf as Special Prosecutor in this B.C. Rail trial. I imagine his nerve-endings are beginning to fray a bit.

Great Satan said...

This is a case where the Crown and the Defense both want the entire event to go-away.
Further, too many important political-beautiful-people want this situation to also disappear.
So the fix is in, with 39 months and counting the Basi-Virk case becomes a case dismissed, and takes a . . . "Charter of Rights Dive".

Gail said...

Don't agree with your analysis Great Satan. If the Defence wants it to go away why did they file such a detailed motion specifically outlinging key elements of the case that are very embarassing to the government. I read in the Vancouver Sun it was a 2000 page document. I can't wait to get my hands on it, should be a fascinating read!!

A. G. Tsakumis said...

There is just too much attached to this for it to simply go away. The case will proceed, but it appears that there are indeed a number of people who do not want it to see the light of day. Sad that, but hardly surprising.

Cozy relationships nothwithsatnding, it is the height of preposterousness for anyone to think that the details won't hit the street.

Think about it.

Nice work Bill, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Bill, you really have been one of the very few to follow this sordid saga. There is no way Mulgrew would have written his column if you didn't keep the spotlight on this case.

Budd Campbell said...

Some may be critical of the actions of Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino. Maybe some of his moves do seem a bit strange.

But consider how much greater the problem would be if B.C. were not the only place in Canada with the Special Prosecutor provision.

JW said...

Bill, you have shamed the Vancouver Sun into covering the bc rail case. Their coverage yesterday and today was a pathetic puff piece just rehashing old stuff, nothing in there about Bornmann's allegations against Bruce Clark, no mention of the Law Society stuff and no mention of Kieran's cozy relationship with his good friend and neighbor and apparently business development manager Paul Taylor. Maybe the Vancouver Sun will finally start to look at this case from a fresh perspective. Ian Mulgrew's column was undoubtedly influenced by your coverage of this affair.

Keep up the good work Bill, we need to continue to shine the light of accountability into the deep dark areas the lobbyists do not want to talk about. Who would have thought the DM of Finance Paul Taylor had such a cozy relationship with Kieran, a relationshiop in which he helped his good friend get clients, and told them how much money to charge these clients. Things are beginning to make sense, I could never understand how lobbyists who have, according to court documents, admitted to serious criminal offences could continue to lobby the most senior levels of government, this is very troubling not to mention a complete insult to all law abiding lobbyists who do not bribe government officials. Something smells really bad!