Friday, December 07, 2007

BC Legislature Raid case may never happen or be further postponed, says veteran lawyer

Basi-Virk trial might be delayed, says lawyer


NOTE TO READERS - this is a short variation of the blog item below.

Three provincial government aides charged in the B.C. legislature raid case could have their trial delayed or even thrown out due to a legally complex secret pre-trial hearing held yesterday in B.C. Supreme Court, says a prominent media lawyer.

Roger McConchie, representing CTV, the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Press at the hearing, said outside court that legal wrangling over the Crown's application to have a judge hear from a police informant in secret could delay the March 2008 trial date or even put it off forever.

Special Prosecutor Janet Winteringham asked Justice Elizabeth Bennett to grant a Section 37 certificate under the Canada Evidence Act to grant "informer privilege" for a secret witness.

The certificate would exclude media, the public and even defense lawyers from the court. Lawyers for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi, the three aides facing charges connected to the $1-billion privatization of B.C. Rail, opposed the application in a hearing closed to media and the public that is expected to continue today.

"If the certificate is sustained, counsel for the accused can apply to the Appeal Court. My guess would be if that happens, the March trial date would be delayed," McConchie told 24 hours.

But McConchie also said that if a defence appeal is filed: "It's anyone's guess if this is ever going to go to trial."

McConchie described the case as like a Matryoshka Russian nesting doll. "It is a truly nested doll hearing - I've never seen one before. How far down is this series of nested doll in-camera hearings [are we] going to go?" McConchie asked.


Marcus said...

Why havn't we heard about this on BCTV or CTV or the CBC? Everyone (in the world of major corporate media) seemed to be glued to the "issue" when G. Clark was having a deck built, why not now, given this issue involves billions of dollars and the sale of a major public asset. It makes me think that they're either in league - or sympathetic with - the dear folk that raided your office.

If I was a journalist working for CanWest Global or the CBC I'd be feeling pretty whipped.

Billy Boy said...

so what happens next? where are things at with this nested doll situation?

any updates or do we wait until next week?


Anonymous said...

The big question is what does Waffling Wally have to say about this? And Gordo? Is someone trying to interfere in this trial? Did you know there's another Basi in the FOI office? Aren't these folks all related? Besides Kim Bolan says in her book that $$ are paid in cash to certain politicians?

Paul G. said...


I hope that you will report on how the government is opposing the release of information that the defence feel will shed more light on the other players in this scandal.

What is the government trying to hide?

Anonymous said...

So what happened? Did the special prosecutor lose the hearing?

or is everything still in camera and cannot be reported?

Bill Tieleman said...

I was not in court but I do not believe Justice Bennett has yet ruled - or if she has, it may still be under a publication ban.

I will try to find out the status on Friday.