Monday, November 24, 2008

BASI-VIRK - Defence loses argument to exclude new counsel for RCMP into case to argue legal privilege on evidence

Judge rules against defence over RCMP documents issue in testy day in court

By Bill Tieleman, 24 hours columnist

Tempers flared at B.C. Supreme Court Monday as defence lawyers in a government corruption trial argued unsuccessfully to exclude new legal counsel from entering the case to assert RCMP privilege over more than 300 documents.

Justice Elizabeth Bennett issued an oral judgment late Monday in the B.C. Legislature Raid case that allows the RCMP to be represented by new counsel, who will argue legal privileges claims instead of the Special Prosecutor.

W.P. Riley, a Public Prosecution Service of Canada lawyer, successfully argued that despite being a “stranger to the investigation” he should be allowed to represent RCMP efforts to potentially keep documents from being disclosed to defence lawyers representing David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi.

The three former government aides face corruption charges related to the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail.

Virk’s lawyer Kevin McCullough at one point said in exasperation that several previous dates for hearings to disclose evidence had “gone the way of the dodo bird.”

Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino fought back, saying: “The quick answer to that is ‘so what’?”

Replied Bennett: “That’s fair enough but those two words are not going to help me.”

Berardino later apologized to Bennett for the comment.


Outside court David Basi’s lawyer Mike Bolton said “The RCMP should not have two prosecutors.”

The pre-trial hearing resumes Tuesday with another defence application seeking the court to give direction on the disclosure of several thousand pages of evidence.

13 comments:

Deep Throat said...

Bill;

So the current Commissioner of the RCMP, Bill Elliot wants to continue to suppress the fact that there was illegal collusion between the former Commissioner of the RCMP, Zacarelli, Deputy Commissioner Bass and there subordinates and the Premier, Coleman, Reichert and there subordinates (obstruction of justice, “targeted and tailored”, the “fake” witness gambit) to prevent the defenses access to the RCMP documents that would expose all of the aforementioned.

So yes, the cover up continues.

What a surprise!

Anonymous said...

The whole damn thing is going to thrown out, just wait!

If it does, it means the rule of law doesn't apply to the government, nor the police, that being said, we no longer live in democracy, rather a dictatorial police state. Sounds just like that funny Austrian chap, with the funny mustache, did to Germany in the 1920's!

It's time for revolution boys!

Anonymous said...

Wow. The Special Prosecutor says to disclosure "SO WHAT!!!!!!!!!!"

No wonder we are 5 years without any hope of a trial. Berardino doesn't seem to give a sh**. Just keep billing the taxpayers for showing up to court and exclaiming "so what." That must be worth the $400 per hour his law firm charges to the taxpayers. Oh, don't forget the prep time for court that he billed as well to come up with that wonderful legal lingo "so what." Priceless.

"So what" that's the answer to all the people of BC who are wondering why the RCMP raided the legislature 5 years ago.

A big, fat "SO WHAT".

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

It must be heating up inside Courtroom 65 ... and it's about time!

So if I understand things correctly, there suddenly are two new lawyers in the courtroom.

Quoting from your report: "W.P. Riley, a Public Prosecution Service of Canada lawyer, successfully argued that despite being a “stranger to the investigation” he should be allowed to represent RCMP efforts to potentially keep documents from being disclosed to defence lawyers representing David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi."


So does this mean that "somebody" has invited the two Federal guys to take over the prosecution of the Basi-Virk / BC Rail trial?

Who invited them? Not Judge Bennett. Obviously not the irate Special Crown Prosecutor, Bill Berardino, who's been stumbling around these cow-pats for 2 years. So who?

And why??

BC Mary

.

Bill Tieleman said...

Only one new lawyer Mary - Mr. Riley.

He has nothing to do with the prosecution of the case - his role is to represent the interests of the RCMP in the vetting of the 304 documents, most of which come out of the original drug investigation that was underway before the BC Rail angle developed.

I will try to post a longer piece soon on a bit more of the background but was on deadline and am doing my regular work in the evenings so I can cover the trial daily.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please dumb this down for the people unfamiliar with legal matters/terms?

Bill, BC Mary?

DPL said...

Hi Bill
Nice of you to keep us informed. You must be putting in long hours.

I get a bit concerned when folks write comments such as "illegal Collusion". It stands to reason that since you are covering the events, some folks involved might be taking a passing interest in what is being said. Mr.Zacarelli, is now working for, I believe interpol and might not like to see folks talking about him colluding with anyone. This is a serious case being argued and second guessing should be minimal.

If some of your posters here know something just spit it out folks.

The judge is making some decisions and unless a higher authority trumps her, what she says goes.

Deep Throat said...

DPL:

Do you know what "Do Not Disclose" means!

Anonymous said...

I suggest we remove the word British from BC and just call our beloved province . . . COLUMBIA.

Oh so sorry, there already is an place called Columbia, and it also has dirty politicians, dirty cops, dirty courts and a butt-kissing media . . . all on-the-take of inbred dirty business types.

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

Only in Canada could so important a court case turn into a farce. Not even a good farce. It's time for this Judge to get it underway with nothing hidden everything out in the open;even a Banana Republic does better than this.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

"The pre-trial hearings resume Tuesday ..."

I've just checked the Supreme Court listings. Case #23299 (Basi, Virk, Basi) isn't included for today (Tues., Nov. 25).

Did they all just go out for a beer, or what. Maybe it's time Gordo showed up to present these workers with their quarter-pounder Gold Medal Awards.

BC Mary

.

Anonymous said...

Bill - thank you for your detailed update. You are able to capture the essence of the arguement and allow the reader to fully understand what is happening.

I read on another blog that there are 10 lawyers. I beleive that the defence would have 3 (one for each accused) but who would be the other 6?

kootcoot said...

"Mr.Zacarelli, is now working for, I believe interpol and might not like to see folks talking about him colluding with anyone"

Pardon my French - but to hell with Mr. Zacarelli! Who cares who (Interpol) provided a soft landing (which seem to be available for all cops in trouble - unless they are in trouble for being straight shooters) for another corrupt lying sack of a substance I will refrain from naming.

And, especially, who cares what Mr. Zacarelli "might not like to see," I already know better than to pay attention to anything he says. For stuff that isn't true, I prefer to read well written fiction, thanks!