Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ken Dobell, ex-deputy minister to Premier Gordon Campbell, advised government lawyer on Basi-Virk evidence disclosure, documents show

New documents emerge in Basi-Virk


Premier Gordon Campbell's former deputy minister Ken Dobell advised a government lawyer in 2004 how to deal with the disclosure of confidential cabinet documents related to the police raid on the B.C. Legislature, according to information obtained by 24 hours.

But Dobell was not one of the four people listed in a protocol who were authorized to access the confidential cabinet documents to review them and determine if cabinet privilege would be asserted.

The protocol was developed by the special prosecutor and government to deal with evidence in the B.C. Supreme Court case of David Basi and Bob Virk, two former ministerial aides who face corruption charges for allegedly leaking government documents related to the $1-billion privatization of BC Rail to a lobbyist working for one of the bidders.

Government lawyer George Copley sent Dobell an e-mail dated Nov. 24, 2004 stating that they had met that morning to discuss three confidential documents and get instructions from Dobell on waiving cabinet privilege "for the limited purpose of proposed investigative interviews" by the RCMP.

Dobell sent back an e-mail acknowledging Copley's version of the meeting.

The three documents are cabinet presentations about the sale of BC Rail made in July 2003, before the deal was finalized in November of that year.

Both Copley and special prosecutor Bill Berardino declined to comment yesterday when contacted. Dobell and the attorney-general's office did not reply to a request for comment by deadline.

Dobell left government in 2005.

The e-mails were among a larger group of documents obtained by the New Democratic Party through a request to the court.

UPDATE May 7 - The NDP Caucus has now released a series of fascinating documents it obtained in the Basi-Virk case. Watch here for more analysis.


G West said...

Well, so much for that pledge of Campbell's that he's been 'hands-off' on this case.

Didn't Dobell occupy the credenza of the premier's desk for some of that period of time?

If this thing doesn't get turfed for time-clock violations there may yet be some very interesting outcomes.

Gary E said...

This is a man (Dobell) who had a desk in the Premiers office? And they (the government ) are all saying they didn't interfere. Something is definately wrong in River City.

Anonymous said...


This development puts the Allan Seckel "aggreived" letter, tabled in the legislature, as a pathetic attempt to deflect attention from the real issue. That there has been political interference from the Premier's right hand man Dobell regarding a BC Supreme Court approved protocol regarding document disclosure.

I hope the NDP will not stop putting the heat on the government.

Remember too that Dobell has a history of deleting files and lord only knows how many conversations were had without a paper trail.

It is quite clear that the we are beginning to see a story of the lengths the government will go to in order to try to cover up this messy affair.

All this is a result of the Premier's office not wanting to release emails that go to the "innocence at stake" principle.

Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Bill the NDP Caucus has posted all the information on their website for the public to view and decide for themself what the government is trying to do.

Of note is a reference to KEVIN BEGG not keeping writen information to avoid a paper trail.

Kevin Begg is the solicitor general's Assistant Deputy Minister for police services. He is also referenced in defence applications regarding the problems with disclosure

DL said...

Shifty bunch of devils sort of sums up the goings on. But like everyhting else that makes question period, Wally keeps quoting a comment by L.Krog and of course everything is before the courts. and these guys got elected twice in a row

Anonymous said...

Bill, What about Mike Morton who was Communications Director for the Premier until he suddenly left last Dec? One wonder what he knows as he had worked for the Premier for many years. His name has never appeared. I think he is now Exec. Dir. of the BC Liberal party. I suspect he knows all about what went on in Gordo's office.

BC Mary said...

Did you notice those repeat headings:

Dave Basi - "Shred after Meeting"