BC Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett has ordered the release of 82 documents that the RCMP wanted kept from defence lawyers for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi - the three former BC Liberal government aides facing corruption charges related the the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail in 2003.
The newly-released evidence is described as "RCMP investigative documents" and a lawyer for the RCMP has argued that they fall under the category of solicitor-client privilege and should have been denied as such.
But only the defence will see the documents - nothing has been released to the public or media. Nor were there any other media in the courtroom Wednesday, just myself and two veteran observers.
Court heard on Wednesday defence arguments as to why an additional 35 documents should also be given to them.
W.P. Riley, a lawyer for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada who is representing the RCMP in court, told Bennett that her rulings have led to 48 documents being fully released to the defence, another 34 documents being partially released, leaving 35 documents that the defence want access to.
Defence lawyers Kevin McCullough for Virk, Michael Bolton for David Basi and Joe Doyle for Aneal Basi, have said that the Crown has an obligation to provide context for the documents that have been previously released to inform their arguments but Special Prosecutor Janet Winteringham disagreed.
"I appreciate that they don't have the documents and are somewhat in the dark but they have the descriptions and they onus is on them - these have already been ruled privileged documents," Winteringham said.
Riley argued Wednesday that: "So long as solicitor-client privilege exists, all of the communication is covered."
Justice Bennett also dropped some tantalizing hints about what might be in the remaining documents in question.
At one point she referred to one of the documents, saying: "With respect to the White Castle Memorandum, I've had a look and clearly solicitor-client privilege applies."
McCullough replied that it will be dealt with at Monday's court hearing.