Monday, December 10, 2007

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column
Tuesday December 11, 2007

No mistakes in office raid

By BILL TIELEMAN

A lie has no leg but a scandal has wings.

- Thomas Fuller, 1608-1661

Is the B.C. legislature raid case still important almost four years after it occurred on Dec. 28, 2003?

After all, the trial of three B.C. Liberal government aides alleged to have given confidential documents to lobbyists in the $1 billion B.C. Rail privatization has still has not occurred and some doubt it ever will.

But as I surveyed the wreckage of my ransacked office Dec. 3 and found an unmistakable "calling card" carefully placed on top of broken ceiling tiles left when intruders crashed in, the answer was very clear - "yes" indeed.

Whoever took a press kit for The Raid - Ken Merkley's fictional book based on the case - from my desk and put it atop the rubble, along with leaving filing cabinets open and stealing nothing, knew what they were doing.

And they went to a lot of trouble to get into my office.

The intruders gained entry at night to a locked office building.

They tried to smash through the drywall to open my office door and failed, then also failed to crowbar it open, then smashed open the door of the adjoining office, moved a desk against the wall, pushed out the acoustic tiles, climbed into the ceiling, over the wall, pushed in my acoustic tiles and dropped into my office.

The intruders did not attempt to break-in to any other office.

So the message was obvious - they don't like what I write about the B.C. Legislature Raid case in 24 hours or www.thetyee.-ca or my blog at billtieleman. blogspot.com.

My answer - I will not be intimidated by criminals.

But why is this case - often unreported by many media - so important?

Because the stakes are extremely high - for the accused - David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi - who potentially face years in jail and whose lives have been totally disrupted.

For Premier Gordon Campbell - defence lawyers alleged in B.C. Supreme Court his staff directed political dirty tricks.

For the B.C. Liberal government - which could face electoral defeat if the scandal implicates its members in wrongdoing, even if not illegal.

For the RCMP - accused by the defence of conflict of interest and abuse of process in the investigation. One investigator bought a house from David Basi's mother before the raid. A supervising officer is the B.C. Liberal Party's executive director's brother-in-law.

For the federal Liberal Party - some of its former B.C. branch executives had their offices searched by police and will testify in court.

For lobbyists Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran - alleged to have provided bribes, they are now Crown witnesses facing no charges.

So however long it takes, when the truth comes out, a reckoning will take place.

3 comments:

Budd Campbell said...

Do the Vancouver Police think there's any real prospect of finding and arresting the intruders? I assume the VPD are working this one themselves and that the RCMP are not involved.

Gazetteer said...

It's also important for at least one other group Bill.....

.....The people of British Columbia.


(which, of course, is implicit in your piece)

Anonymous said...

you are also missing from the list other witnesses:

Jamie Elmhirst
Bruce Clark
Mark Marissen
Former and current MLAs
Former and current bureaucrats