Wednesday, November 19, 2008

BASI-VIRK: Supreme Court of Canada decision whether or not to hear secret witness appeal expected shortly; 3 weeks on RCMP documents starts Nov 24

Supreme Court of Canada secret witness decision may delay BC Legislature Raid case for up to a year – or kill it altogether

By Bill Tieleman, 24 hours columnist

A Supreme Court of Canada decision expected shortly could either delay the long-awaited B.C. Legislature Raid corruption trial of three former B.C. government aides by up to a year – or kill the case altogether.

Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino told B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday he believes the Supreme Court of Canada will announce if it will hear his appeal about potential secret witness testimony within the next week to two weeks.


If the Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear the appeal, a one-day hearing is expected sometime this spring, possibly in March 2009, and a ruling could take many months more, almost certainly pushing the trial past the May 12, 2009 provincial election date.

But if the Supreme Court of Canada declines to hear the appeal, Berardino has previously hinted he might simply drop all charges against former B.C. governemnt aides David Basi and Bob Virk and Aneal Basi on allegations of corruption connected to the $1 billion BC Rail privatization in 2003 - ending the case without it ever going to trial.

Berardino is appealing two BC lower court decisions allowing defence lawyers to be present to hear arguments about why the prosecution wants a witness to testify in secret.

And starting November 24 B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett will hear up three weeks of arguments over disclosure of nearly 400 RCMP documents related to the corruption investigation followed an unprecedented police raid on the B.C. Legislature on December 28, 2003 - almost five years ago.

The only hint of the potential political impact that the trial could have came when Virk's lawyer Kevin McCullough told Bennett that a Freedom Of Information request filed by the defence for government documents was producing significant results.

"The disclosure we've gotten has been voluminous and extremely relevant," McCullough said. That FOI process is also subject to a vetting process by the government and any documents it refuses to release may end up in BC Supreme Court for adjudication by Bennett.

The defence filed an application to be heard Monday seeking that Bennett give "orders or directions" on disclosure because they argue that "the RCMP continues to assert privilege" over up to 400 documents in dispute.

Outside court David Basi's lawyer Michael Bolton said that the application deals with: "The nature of privilege - which kind of privilege it is, the description of the subject matter - if it is similar to documents the Special Prosecutor has already released to the defence."

Bolton said the pre-trial court hearing will likely deal with the issue document by document and that the defence has not seen any of the RCMP evidence in question.

"We're seeking further and better descriptors," Bolton said of the short summary the defence has been provided about what the content of each document is.

The Supreme Court of Canada appeal would hear evidence about whether an initial decision by Justice Bennett - subsequently upheld by the BC Court of Appeal - should stand.

Bennett ruled that defence lawyers could be present in court to hear testimony about why the Special Prosecutor wants the identity of one witness to remain completely secret - including banning not only the public and media but defence lawyers from that hearing.

Bennett's ruling would have allowed the defence to be in court to hear the arguments provided they gave an undertaking not to disclose any of the testimony to their clients or anyone else, while the public and media would be excluded.

The BC Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 to uphold Bennett's ruling but legal observers believe that because of the split ruling and the importance of the issue of secret witnesses for future cases, the Supreme Court of Canada is likely to agree to hear Berardino's appeal.

If so, a one-day hearing in Ottawa before the full Supreme Court of Canada would take place, with all defence and Special Prosecutors team lawyer flying to the capital to give their arguments.

The Supreme Court of Canada can make decisions quickly but it can also take up to one year or more to rule.

In the appeal of Dr. Jacques Chaouilli - the Quebec doctor who argued that preventing patients from seeking private medical treatment violates the Quebec Charter of Rights - the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in June 2004 and rendered its decision in June 2005 - a full year later.

NOTE - A shorter version of this story will appear in 24 hours newspaper Thursday.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just as the Special Prosecutor had planned, he is delaying this case well past the next election.

If the SCC decides to hear the appeal, why is it going to occur in March of 2009?? What happened to the "expedited" request from Berardino.

What a JOKE this case has become.

DPL said...

Who is the special prosecuter supposed to be protecting? I thought he was there to work for the public but it appears not to be the case. What a screwed up mess for all parties concerned. The legal costs could be as bad as the convention center over budget of almost 500 million and counting.
The SP will be able to retire sooner rather than later.

Deep Throat said...

Bill:

So your readers won't forget what the Premier's underhanded strategy is - here it is again for a third time:

"I think it is now appropriate that I remind your readers what I noted on your last post on this matter and then add to it the timeframe that the Premier hopes to use so it “all goes quietly away”.

Quoting from the previous note to you, I noted:

“Anon 10:34 a.m. you raise a number of good questions.

To understand what is happening you have to realize that this Special Prosecutor (SP) is not acting independently from the Premier. As such, the Premier’s “cover up” strategy as enacted through the SP is three pronged.

1. As opposed to the SP’s stated intention to release the government documents including “innocence at stake because the fix was in” document to the defense, the Premier’s real intention is to have them never see “the light of day”. Accordingly, the SP will attach conditions on the release of the documents that the defense can’t agree to. It will then be up to the courts to decide as the SP will then take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

2. However, before it gets that far the “secret witness” appeal will have been rejected by the Supreme Court so as to give the SP the excuse he will use to drop the case. Here it is important to remember that there is no secret witness and that the real reason this appeal is going forward is that the Premier through the SP does not want to release the RCMP “tailored and targeted to protect the Premier smoking gun” documents to the defense – to ensure that these documents also never see “the light of day”.

3. Finally, the “Government” will then offer the accused an extremely large monetary settlement to avoid civil litigation and as such, a new fight by the plaintiffs to see the government “innocence at stake because the fix was in” and the RCMP “tailored and targeted to protect the Premier smoking gun” documents. However, there will be conditions on the money including that the plaintiffs accept a “gag” order so as to ensure that it “all goes quietly away”.” (End of Quote)

As to the Premier’s hoped for timeframe:

• Berardino’s job right now is to stall by refusing disclose all relevant documents to the accused until the election in May 2009…by that time the Supreme Court should have ruled on his ludicrous (from a legal justice perspective) “fake” witness gambit;
• then with the NDP in the midst of a leadership race and everyone on vacation in July and August 2009 Berardino will drop the charges against the accused using the excuse that he must protect the “secret” witness because the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against him …advantageous dates would be July 2nd, 3rd & 31st 2009;
• then, of course, the civil suit would begin which would be the Premier’s “before the courts” excuse to avoid a public inquiry; and finally
• and before the Premier and his co-defendents are forced to testify (and ideally at or around the time of the 2010 Olympics) the Premier through the Government’s legal counsel will offer the plaintiffs an extremely large monetary settlement with the caveat that they must not reveal to the public what they know…and so it “all goes quietly away”.

Or, if all else fails and the Premier is forced because of public outrage to convene a “public inquiry” then and as Sean Holman on May 10th, 2006:

“Last month, the Campbell administration introduced it's controversial Public Inquiry Act. Under that legislation, "a public inquiry commission will not be able to issue its report to any person other than the minister, and Cabinet will have the power to decide when and if a report from a public inquiry will be released" - according to scathing news release from the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. The government has since quietly proposed amendments meant to address that criticism. But some are now speculating that the Liberals may not go ahead with that legislation.”"

Anonymous said...

As one of the very few to have had a few minutes advance notice of the 28/December raid, I always felt that something in the universe was "out of alignment" that day in 2003.

None of our Beautiful BC Elites wanted this event to ever happen, and certainly the Crown, the Politicians and the Defendants all has a vested interest in Basigate just fading away.

So as I have said before . . . this is ultimate "rigged boxing match" where both fighters will take a dive at exactly the same time and the referee will rule that the fight never happened.

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

IT IS NOT IN PUBLIC INTEREST FOR THIS CASE TO FAIL.

Anonymous said...

Is Gary Collins the secret witness?
Has Mike Morton, the Premier's former Communications Manager ever been called to testify in this case?

Anonymous said...

With all these people kneeling in front of gordo, their mouths full of him. Must be hard for them to tell anything, alone the truth. The press, b good, editors of the sun, province, etc. Have shown that they are on the take. They have no balls. Nothing about the fiasco called the "Virk, Basi, Virk" trials. If anything, they feed us pablum, not news. It's time for the Maui madmad to be put on trial, in jail. Give us our province back

Anonymous said...

If there is any doubt, the Basi/Virk - BC Rail case, shows that the rule of law doesn't exist in BC. If you are rich and powerful, the rule of law does not apply.

This case shows the utter compaction of our judiciary and our politicians.

In BC police can kill innocent people, either drunk or not, and suffer no prosecution.

Nothing short of a revolution and liquidation of the present corrupt lot will solve this. And we know that will not happen.

BC is as corrupt as any 3rd world country and it is high time we treat politicians as 3rd world dictators.

Strong stuff you say? Not polite, you say? Not Canadian, you say? Fine, just expect the same old corrupt way of doing things; our same corrupt elections (oh they are, compared to European political systems that we and I repeat we, forced upon them after WW2.

I am so fed up and its high time for action - say around 2010? Lets show the world that we are not peons!

Anonymous said...

So, our thieving premier is more capable of running our economy in difficult times? If lying, secrecy, stealing, number manipulation and interference in our justice system and police force are credentials, then he wins hands down.

And how many idiots out there still want to vote for this yahoo? We need a major taxpayer revolt, as these idiots shouldn't be touching anyones money.

BC Liberals Suck said...

I wonder if there are any dots connecting with this bit of news out of Victoria.

Guess They were Serious: Lack of Transparency in Hiring of Victoria Police Chief leads to Resignation from Victoria Police Board

http://westcoastindienews.blogspot.com/2008/11/guess-they-were-serious-lack-of.html

Some bits about Victoria's Mayor Elect, Dean Fortin:

Before his election to city council, Dean served as a community member on the Victoria Police Board. [Would that be a BC Liberal, or NDP appointee from 2001-02?]

He now becomes Chair of the Victoria Police Board as Mayor.

Wonder how Mr. Fortin will fare as he appears to be a little left of who the Liberals generally see in the mayor's chair in Victoria.

http://www.deanfortin.com/about_dean_fortin

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that Gordo and Canwest will be able to bury this story.

The recent evidence seems to suggest that certain other media are willing to act in the public interest.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=25c3e3f8-348c-4cca-8aec-a007a37ff08e

If I interpret this correctly, the Vancouver Sun is applauding the courage of its former staff people who now work at the Globe and Mail.

Deeper Throat said...

All of you are whipping a dead horse.

Gordon Campbell cannot let this trial go forward because it will have broad sweeping implications for the so-called power couple, Mark Marissen and Christy Clark.

Christy has too much on Gordo for him to be dumb enough not to save harmless the most useless radio chat show host in Canadian history and her husband, who is the most overrated and toxic political organizer ever known.

We also have to consider what happens to Marrisen's entire former crew and Christy's brother.

The whole group of them are so into this mess that if it were ever to go to trial..

The Premier would have to resign...

Christy would either resign or get fired at NW..

Marissen would need to go to Mars before he could find work.

And a couple members of the funky bunch would have get used to living with an amorous cellmate named Clarence, who hasn't seen a woman in twenty years...

This was obviously a sham from the beginning.

Berardino should be disbarred.

Deep Throat said...

Sorry to disappoint you "Deeper Throat" but Clark and Marissen were not involved in any wrongdoings.

Indeed, in the investigation they were actually targeted by Coleman with the help of his RCMP friends as he saw it as a convenient opportunity to politically kill what he perceived to be his key rival to becoming the next Premier. As you may recall, it was shortly after Basi and Virk were charged and as reported by Palmer and others in the press, that the “Coleman as the next Premier” rumors started to “float” around the Legislative Building.

It is also interesting to note that at Cabinet meetings, Coleman is the only Minister who the Premier won’t “take on”. Needless to say, this is because of what Coleman “knows” about the Premiers role in the Basi/Virk affair.

Anonymous said...

Ipsos and Angus Reid did the polling. Yesterday I contacted Angus Reid and asked about his relationship to Ipsos. Got an immediate reply. "There is no relationship." Sent another message "Then why does it say on your website that your company was purchased by Ipsos SA in 2000?"

There has been no response. Just how valid are these polls?

Deeper Throat said...

Deep throat you don't know what you're talking about.

How did the deal end up on a certain someone's computer.

I have SPECIFIC INSIDE knowledge of the case. Christy Clark and Mark Marrisen might not be found guilty of any legal wrongdoing, but ethical lapses would have people screaming for their heads, for which a platter or to is always at the ready.

Her brother in particular would have much splainin' to do.

I will not stay silent for long. If this trial is dismissed, I will pick my time, but will reveal the truth.

There are ample documents and recordings to support my case.

Anonymous said...

There is one thing everyone seems to be forgetting and that is that the basic "Rule of Law" has broken down in British Columbia.

Effectively, BC is a "occupied state" similar to 1941 Vichy France . . . with crypto-fascist control of the public service, the courts and the "mainstream" media.

The democratic process has failed its citizens and it may be time to consider other-options.

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

well deeper throat, erik bornmann did raise some serious allegations against bruce clark.

it is not a stretch to think that he used the same brush to tar others in the "funky bunch".

specific inside knowledge you say? it's been 5 frickin years!!

when will it be the right time?

dsc

Anonymous said...

To Deeper Throat:

Please share your intimate knowledge with all of us. I can't take the suspense. You obviously know something that nobody else does. Have pity on mere mortals like us and share your knowledge!

Deeper Throat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dmc said...

DEEPER THROAT,
Divulge NOW! Why wait???
"you'll see soon enough"...
When is soon enough? It's been 5 long suffering years, my hair is turning grey!
LETS GET ON WITH IT!
Pls.

Anonymous said...

To DEEPER THROAT;

I eagerly await your earth shattering bombshell!!

Anonymous said...

.
To:

Deep Throat
The Great Satan
Deeper Throat
dsc
Various Anono-Mice


I've been writing and re-writing this story over and over again in my head ...

and becoming increasingly antsy thinking that there isn't much time ... days, maybe only hours ... before Judge Bennett collapses under the deadweight of Berardino's inertia ...

and the Basi-Virk / BC Rail / Government Corruption case is stayed, thrown out, dismissed ...

and while I don't much care what happens to the main players (except for those at the very top, and their enforcers), I am certain that British Columbia needs a complete airing of

* what happened to BC Rail
* what still hasn't unfolded in the BC Rail deal
* how much of it can be stopped? re-wound?
* Is Roberts Bank still vulnerable?
* and did BC ever get paid the $1Billion as advertised?
* is Organized Crime operating anywhere within the BC Legislature?

I'd love it if you'd come on over to my place and divulge, divulge, divulge all you like. Because it's obviously going to be left to the citizens to take charge of this file.

Can we do it? Yes, we can.


BC Mary
The Legislature Raids
http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/

.

A. G. Tsakumis said...

The comparison of Christy to Hitler's girlfriend and Mark to Hitler himself is despicable.

I have had my tangles with Mark, yes, but to denigrate someone like that with such horrific epithets is tasteless and disgraceful. He doesn't deserve that. As for Christy, I think the comparison is equally disgusting. And she certainly doesn't deserve that either. Never question a mother's love. If (and I would argue it's big 'if') it turns out at some point that some evidence to the contrary manifests itself, fine, but until then have some respect.

You may have whatever disagreements you want to have with anyone, however, as I have written on this blog, and others, trotting out the Nazis and associated descriptives is really lower than low.

Mark and Christy may have their detractors, as I have mine, and Bill has his...all of us in the public realm do.

But try and have some respect for the people who died in those camps, the families they left behind and the unearthly pain those memories, whether in pictures or stories, continue to pain the knowing. I am one of them.

IF you ever get a chance to visit the Simon Wisenthal Center in LA, GO!!! It will change your life and you will never, ever, write such bilge, such piffle--such inexorable nonsense.

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks to Alex Tsakumis for his last comment - I have removed the offending post he referred to - I regret my lack of diligence in policing the comments on this item.

I've already said elsewhere on this blog that strong opinions are fine but defamatory comments will be blocked or removed.

Anonymous said...

I feel for Tieleman on this one, the fine line between opinion and libel is hard to see.

Yet this case is so important because the very nature of our legal system is being tested. In short, if this case is dismissed it is a victory for legal constipation, where the wealthier one gets, there is less worry to be prosecuted for wrong doing.

Campbell and Co. believe that they are above the law and BC is their personal fiefdom where their say, is the rule of law. This is dictatorship.

"Something smells in the province of BC, me thinks" and unless there is a court case to clear the air, the smell will become an odor; the odor a stench; the stench will become a putrefied mess and so on.

If the case fails, so does BC and watch out it will be evil days.

In a province where elderly people who get a mere $1,100 a month and are charged $54.00 BC medical, is province that has absolutely no morals. No morals leads people to compare others to Hitler and Nazi's. If our government has no morals, the public soon follow in their footsteps.

Anonymous said...

You have still left potentially libelous comments about Christy Clark and Mark Marissen written by "Deeper Throat."

Both have never been implicated in the Basi-Virk case - in fact, the police gave Mr. Marissen a letter that insisted he was not implicated at all.

And Christy Clark had nothing whatsoever to do with the whole saga. Never did. Nada. Zip. There is nothing anywhere that suggests the contrary.

It is interesting that, once confronted a little, "Deeper Throat" started to backtrack later in these comments by saying "I have SPECIFIC INSIDE knowledge of the case. Christy Clark and Mark Marrisen might not be found guilty of any legal wrongdoing, but ethical lapses would have people screaming for their heads, for which a platter or to is always at the ready."

What on earth does that mean?

If "Deeper Throat" has "specific inside" information, he/she should divulge it now.

Otherwise, Bill, you should remove his/her ridiculous accusations and sick, disgusting smears off of your website.

Anonymous said...

Hold on annon 5:04. Give your head a shake. You have the star witness, Erik Bornmann making serious allegations directly against Christy's brother, Bruce Clark.

For you to state emphatically that there is "nada. zip" about Christy Clark and this case is premature.

Remember this post my friend. You will see. The web of the Spiderman is attached to many flies. Many big flies.

Bill Tieleman said...

As many regular readers of this blog know, I operate on the basis of free speech here - with the limitations of defamation and obscenity.

Anonymous 5:04 p.m. believes some of the postings here are defamatory and should be removed.

I've reviewed them and while they may be insulting I don't believe they are more than that.

I will again encourage posters to use some civility and be factual rather than simply nasty.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:37:

Since when was Bruce Clark Christy Clark?

Anonymous said...

NOTE - THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN EDITED FOR CONTENT:

Hello just a thought to some lawyer not willing to stomache this ,is there some chance this case does not go to court which it might not. Can we take the govt to court on behalf of the people of B.C. in a class action suit and really find out what happened sue all their asses, XXXXX . Never mind them coming back to sue us in civil court and ripping us off more .Is this what we pay taxes for ? we should be enraged ! all this money wasted,sponsorship scandal,airbus,paul,the grande merge hotel,demianski,air india,boys school,and the list goes on and on no wonder theres no money left for the poor of this country to hell with all this crap.throw there asses in jail and let them rot. After all an act against the govt. by a political party is treason!LET us not forget we are the goverment all of us not a political party it seems the courts and the police sure have forgotten, who butters there bread.