Monday, January 19, 2009

BASI-VIRK: New police drug investigation documents released to defence by Justice Bennett

Justice Elizabeth Bennett has ordered the release of about 75 police documents related to the drug investigation that triggered the BC Legislature Raid an led to corruption charges against former BC Liberal government ministerial assistants David Basi and Bob Virk.

In BC Supreme Court this morning it was learned that Bennett made the ruling last week in an unusual Victoria court hearing separate from the preliminary hearing being held into charges that Basi helped two developers remove land for the Agricultural Land Reserve for $50,000.

I was unable to attend the short hearing today but learned of the developments from a regular courtroom observer.

The Vancouver Sun's Neal Hall also reported on the hearing at his newspaper's website.

Bennett ruled that the documents be released on the basis of public interest in the case.

About 25 further documents remain in dispute, with legal arguments resuming in Vancouver's BC Supreme Court on Wednesday January 21 and continuing through Friday January 23. Those hearings will also deal with waiver arguments.

On Friday the defence will argue for disclosure of a document related to Josiah Wood, a previous Special Prosecutor for a short period of time in 2003, and two other individuals.

Justice Bennett also set a date of February 16 for arguments about BC Rail Freedom of Information requested documents related to govenment ministries.

Outside the courtroom Basi's lawyer Michael Bolton said the BC Rail documents are important to the defence.

"Why are these documents on hold from disclosure? They are very significant documents in this trial. The defence is having a hard time prying these documents from government hands," Bolton said.

The April 22 Supreme Court of Canada hearing to consider an appeal of earlier BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal rulings on the secret witness issue was also raised.

Special Prosecutor Janet Winteringham told the court that they have until the end of the week to file materials for that appeal.


DPL said...

Moving right along.

BC Mary said...

Very interesting, Bill. Joshua Wood, eh.

Looks as if you have another name to add to your Encyclopedia.

I googled the name and one of the hits is:

I had never come across the term "Legalized obstruction" before.

What do you think?


A. G. Tsakumis said...

Just running out the clock, baby, running out the clock...

Anonymous said...

Legalized obstruction? Last sitting at the house of commons, an MP introduced a bill for police to have the right to falsify someones identity, for the sake of an investigation!?! When I heard this I thought that's legalizing crime!? Former MP Steve Gilchrist, agrees with this bill!