Lawyers for defendants David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi dropped several bombshell allegations in BC Supreme Court this morning.
Virk's lawyer Kevin McCullough alleged in court that Premier Gordon Campbell was informed by BC Liberal Party Executive Director Kelly Reichert in June of 2005 that RCMP were forwarding a report to Crown counsel on David Basi's alleged "media monitoring" contracts with the BC Liberal Party.
McCullough alleged that the report came because: "One of the investigations of Mr. Basi was whether there was any wrongdoing regarding the media monitoring contracts with the Liberal Party."
McCullough pointed out that RCMP Inspector Kevin DeBruyckere "was and still remains the brother-in-law of Kelly Reichert" although he did not at any point allege any impropriety on the part of either DeBruyckere or Reichert.
Reichert has not responded to my inquiries at this time.
The "media monitoring" contracts, McCullough said, were given to Basi at the same time he was ministerial assistant to then-Finance Minister Gary Collins.
McCullough called the "media monitoring" contracts "a highly political effort to sway public opinion through the use of radio shows and other events." McCullough did not further explain exactly what the contracts allegedly involved.
Premier Gordon Campbell was not in the Legislature for question period today nor did he attend a BC Liberal Party caucus meeting, according to my colleague Sean Holman of 24 hours and Public Eye Online, so was not available to reporters to comment. Campbell was at a cabinet meeting this morning.
McCullough said DeBruyckere disclosed his relationship with Reichert to his superiors in March 2004.
It should be noted that these are simply allegations and that they remain unproven in court.
In another major allegation, McCullough claimed that the RCMP had "acted in bad faith" by telling the media that no elected officials were under investigation when they "knew full well they were investigating Mr. Collins in November."
McCullough alleged that the RCMP misled the public by denying any politicians were being investigated, including through poice news releases.
It was also alleged by the defence that the RCMP were "clearly duplicitous" in obtaining wiretap authorizations by failing to disclose the concerns of a Supreme Court justice about Parliamentary privilege being infringed with wiretaps.
And McCullough said that the RCMP obtained a wiretap on "the Finance Minister's phone" in the Legislature in October 2003.
In an interesting development, lawyer Clark Roberts, a former BC Liberal Party staffer and former federal Liberal Party candidate with close personal ties to Gary Collins was present in the courtroom.
Mr. Roberts told me that he was in the courtroom on behalf of a client whom he could not disclose and that he was "here on a watching brief" for that client.
Also in the courtroom in the afternoon - Attorney General Wally Oppal's Public Affairs Officer Seumus Gordon from the Public Affairs Bureau. I was unable to ask Gordon why he was there.