Monday, September 22, 2008

RCMP reverse policy, issue release saying allegations against BC Liberal MLA Dave Hayer "unsubstantiated" and no Special Prosecutor ever appointed

Late Friday afternoon the RCMP reversed its policy "not to comment on cases before the courts" and issued a news release saying allegations against BC Liberal MLA Dave Hayer raised in BC Supreme Court last week during a BC Legislature Raid hearing were "unsubstantiated" and that a Special Prosecutor was not appointed to investigate.

Hayer also reversed his previous position last week, first saying in a statement released by the BC Liberal caucus that he could not comment on a matter before the courts, then telling CKNW radio the next day that he had done nothing wrong.

The allegations were raised by Michael Bolton, defence lawyer for David Basi - who along with Bob Virk faces breach of trust charges in connection with $1 billion privatization of BC Rail. Bolton, quoting RCMP documents recently disclosed to the defence, said Hayer was under investigation by police for allegedly working with Basi to have debts owed by constituents to the Insurance Corporation of BC dropped or forgiven.

This incident shows how refusing to comment meaningfully allows a story to get out of hand. Hayer, the RCMP and also ICBC all refused to address the allegations initially - using the standby excuse that it was "before the courts."

But it was not. It was an unsubstantiated allegation reported in court - neither Hayer nor Basi were ever charged with anything.

Had Hayer, the RCMP and ICBC quickly responded in a forthright manner an intriguing story would have been stopped in its tracks.

Instead, because of an unfortunate propensity for secrecy and obfuscation, Hayer got a public drubbing in the media - including this blog and 24 hours newspaper.

And that should be a lesson for Attorney-General Wally Oppal - Stonewally to some - and the BC Liberals regarding other aspects of the BC Legislature Raid case. Questions about BC Liberal dirty tricks are entirely answerable in the Legislature and elsewhere, as there are no charges against anyone connected to them.

Here is the RCMP E Division news release in full:

B.C. - Unsubstantiated allegation against MLA

2008-09-19 15:47 PDT

Victoria, BC - The RCMP wish to address media reports this week surrounding the case of Regina vs Basi, Basi and Virk which is currently before the courts. The media have been reporting about an allegation against MLA Dave Hayer in the context of this proceeding.

The allegation involving Mr. Hayer raised in court this week was examined by the RCMP Commercial Crime Section and was found to be unsubstantiated.

The file relating to this allegation was closed. No report was made to Crown Counsel, and the RCMP did not ask for a Special Prosecutor.

Sgt. Tim ShieldsNCO i/c Strategic Communcations Section"E" Div. Strategic Communications

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

only the questions remain as to what would have happened if these allegations were made public in 2004.

I wonder if Dave Hayer asked the RCMP to release this statement?

Anonymous said...

Just another example of GILBERT & SULLIVAN BC Justice.

We have another in an endless series of Double-Speak Comedies here, filled with clowns pretending or trying and failing . . . to be serious actors.

All through BASIGATE . . . the Campbell Government and its phoney Court System, along with the corporate "beautiful" Media who butt-kiss-it have been playing a sick joke on the citizens of BC

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

But were these allegations against Hayer actually raised in court? I was under the impression Bolton made these statements whilst talking to the press outside the courtroom. What gives, Bill?

Bill Tieleman said...

The allegations were raised in court, not outside. If you look at my original report on this blog - linked in this story - you will see Michael Bolton said that it appeared the investigation fizzled out.

His point was that new RCMP disclosures were once again providing new and potentially important information for the defence to build its case.

Anonymous said...

You mean the BC Liberal coddling RCMP looked into BC Liberal MLA Dave Hayer's actions and said: 'Nothing to see here - move along'.

Too bad the RCMP have sullied their reputation with political shenanigans and self dealing cover ups over the past several years - Sgt. Shields statement is specious at best.

ICBC does not have the rosiest reputation. Now we learn Hayer was trying to get "debts owed by constituents to the Insurance Corporation of BC dropped or forgiven."

A Special Prosecutor - with subpoena powers and a very broad mandate - should be appointed to review Hayer's conduct and the RCMP's investigation.

Gazetteer said...

I really like Anon-Above's suggestion for a special prosecutor with a broad mandate.

However, I would guess that this would ONLY happen after a change of government, given the multiple cases of stonewall(y?)ing we have seen already from the current one(s)*.


____
*The current government and the current SP in the Ledge Trial I mean.

Deep Throat said...

Bill:

Notice the careful wording in RCMP press release: “The allegation involving Mr. Hayer raised in court this week was examined by the RCMP Commercial Crime Section and was found to be unsubstantiated”.

So…the allegation by one of his own political appointees and a senior manager at ICBC was “examined” and found to be “unsubstantiated”. Talk about “splitting hairs”. Clearly, the RCMP statement is disingenuous which begs the question as to why!

So…some important questions still remain:

• How come the allegations were found to be “unsubstantiated”?
• And given the extremely sensitive, political nature of the allegations, why did the RCMP not inform anyone in the Government?
• So a final question still remains: What did the Premier’s Office and Deputy Attorney General know and when did they know it?

Deep Throat said...

Bill:

Just so it is clear to everyone including "Sgt. Tim Shields NCO i/c Strategic Communcations (sic) Section"E" Div. Strategic Communications the RCMP" , the sixth edition of The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines “examine” as to “investigate”, “scrutinize”, “test”, or “inquire”.