Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Premier Gordon Campbell denounces Basi & Virk as "criminals" who acted alone in BC Rail corruption case

Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino and associate lawyer Andrea MacKay face media on Monday October 18 after guilty plea bargain revealed, with David Basi, Bob Virk, Aneal Basi and their lawyers in background at BC Supreme Court - Bill Tieleman photo

Sudden Basi-Virk trial ending will be costly for taxpayers as Gordon Campbell says Basi & Virk always criminally guilty

By Bill Tieleman, 24 hours columnist

Premier Gordon Campbell broke a seven year silence Tuesday on the B.C. Legislature raid case, calling two former B.C. Liberal ministerial aides who made surprise guilty pleas Monday “criminals” who acted on their own simply for personal benefit.

Campbell said that despite years of defence lawyer allegations that David Basi and Bob Virk were merely following the orders of political superiors to ensure one of the companies considering buying B.C. Rail stayed in the bidding, the claims were “groundless”.

“Two people acted on their own and acted criminally. And I think unfortunately for seven years they’ve claimed innocence, and their lawyers have pretended that they were innocent when they knew they were guilty,” Campbell told reporters.

Basi and Virk struck a plea bargain deal with Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino that saw several charges dropped in exchange for a two year house arrest sentence and a $75,695 fine for Basi.

But the most controversial part of the deal is that despite pleading guilty, Basi and Virk’s $6 million legal fees will be paid by the government.

Berardino said in an interview with 24 hours Monday that not pursuing reimbursement of the fees was “my decision” and there no political interference in it.

***UPDATE - Oct 21 - After reviewing notes of my interview with Berardino I should clarify that he was referring to the plea bargain deal overall, not the reimbursement of Basi and Virk's legal fees. At the time it appeared there was only one agreement but it is now clear the decision not to pursue reimbursement of fees paid by the provincial government was made by BC officials, not Berardino. ***

Campbell declined comment on the fee issue but said that: “Legal services felt this would be an extra cost to taxpayers that would yield no benefit to the taxpayers.”

Berardino declined to say if plea bargain discussions with defence had taken place at previous points in the six year case.

“I don’t think I should comment on that. It’s privileged,” he said.

Campbell also rejected New Democratic Party calls for a public inquiry into the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail in 2003, saying it would cost millions of dollars and justice has run its course.
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39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Basi and Birk had said, they were just following Campbells orders. They also said, they had been told, if they keep their mouths shut, they would be taken care of. Doesn't all of that, just fit like a glove. I doubt there is a BC citizen, that doesn't believe, Campbell is the very one, who should have been thrown in prison, the minute Campbell committed an act of corruption, by selling the BC peoples BCR. People as far away as Australia, have heard about the Corrupt province of BC. The stink of that trial, has gone far distances. The corruption turd, belongs on Campbell's plate.

Anonymous said...

Campbell was caught drinking and driving. He used these politicos to do the dirty tricks he wanted.
Now they are no longer useful and he attacks them and their family.

This is a scandal.

Anonymous said...

From: Steve Dockeray
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:00 AM
To: b bill ; good@cknw.com ; nw ws ; nwnews ; programming com
Subject: According to global news last night Basi & Virk were offered 2 previous plea deals prior to the one they


According to global news last night Basi & Virk were offered 2 previous plea deals prior to the one they took -- the first one was 4 years in federal Jail ie: How do you go from 4 years in Jail to 2 years House arrest with 6 million in legal costs being picked up by the Tax Payer 2) How much HST did we have to cover from the 6 million bucks we will be paying ?



steve dockeray
milner bc
canada

kootcoot said...

"Two people acted on their own and acted criminally. And I think unfortunately for seven years they’ve claimed innocence, and their lawyers have pretended that they were innocent when they knew they were guilty,"

Hmmmmm. Gordo the Good has just accused the BBV defense lawyers of AT THE LEAST unethical behaviour that MUST be reported to the Bar Association.

Or is believing the Bar really has ethical standards equivalent to believing in the tooth fairy? I guess being an officer of a corrupt court carries no ethical, moral or legal obligation!

Or perhaps he has made himself vulnerable to a libel/slander/defamation suit laid by the last type of person one wants to slander (lawyers).

Oh then I forgot, we don't really have an adversarial justice system and Wild Bill, Annie Mack and MacCullough et. al. were all on the same team/cast, in the same stage play - acting out the pre-written script - directed by the committee pulling the strings on the Campbell puppet.

Since Basi and Virk were "free agent rogues" working entirely on their own, why is it worth $6,000,000 of MY and YOUR money to have them not discuss how and where they went wrong - I mean I believe no one else was involved, don't I?

Also, paying back penalty and interest free your ill-gotten gains is hardly any kind of "punishment," by that definition I'm punished everytime I pay my outstanding credit card balance!

Ole Nielson said...

Bill, have you considered sharpening your pencil and writing the book on this criminal event? It could be a best seller similar to Stevie Cameron's book, "On the Take", re another political crook: Brian Mulroney.

DPL said...

Not a bad idea Ole. Most of the media stepped right into line and the brains of the deal moves on, into other deals. Heck the money involved is ours not theirs.
Stevie was pretty hard hitting in her book and nobody has sued her so far and not likely to do so.

Anonymous said...

AG is claiming there is no non-disclosure agreement

http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1298290

GAB

Anonymous said...

Father of an associate lawyer to the Special Prosecutor delayed the trial for a week, how much did that cost us?

Anonymous said...

Justice has been served my ass. I don't think it should be worded that the 6 million will be paid for by government, it should be clear that it is paid for by the people of BC. I still believe, in my opinion, that these two are just the fall guys and that the real corruption came from the top. I hate BC.

Anonymous said...

it is called NO SHAME.

Norm Farrell said...

So, if they are criminals who acted on their own for their own personal benefit, why are taxpayers paying $6 million defense costs and seeking no reimbursement?

Jonathan Fowlie of the VanSun says that Graham Whitmarsh, who is responsible to and reports to the Premier's Office, negotiated the fee payment.

Has anyone noticed that Whitmarsh and Gary Collins are former business associates at Harmony Air?

http://northerninsights.blogspot.com/2010/10/friends-take-care-of-friends.html

Anonymous said...

Basi and Virk are very sleazy people but they took the hit for
Campbell, Collins,and the rest of the corrupt cabinet. But this is how the corrupt private sector and foreign companies operate .These two piss punks will get bundles of money under the table. Two years down the road they will probably put the houses back into their name ,sell them and maybe go back to India and retire. These people should never be allowed to work for any political party
What were some of the questions that Collins would have to answer?
The liberal party and the majority of their supporters are pigs at the trough. Campbell and his cabinet will be remembered as the most corrupt party ever to govern BC,
If Basi and Virk had plead guilty back in 2005 would piss tank Campbell have won the next election? And BC would still own B C Rail. They had to keep this in lawyers hands, while they sold out the rest of BC to foreigners.

bcrail girl said...

"who acted alone"
when does organised crime come into pay? Or did o/c get eaten up by cancer...

Anonymous said...

Was the legal fees tied to the plea deal? Why doesn't the BC Government come clean on the deal and release what was signed by everyone?

Come Clean Campbell?

Anonymous said...

"Campbell declined comment on the fee issue but said that: “Legal services felt this would be an extra cost to taxpayers that would yield no benefit to the taxpayers.”

Maybe someone could explain to me how letting Basi and Virk figure out how to pay their lawyers the $6 million would be a burden on the BC taxpayer.

I suspect Campbell's been into the sauce again if he believes that crap.

North Van's Grumps said...

Has anyone else noticed that Whitmarsh brought in the Carbon Tax, The Harmonized Sales Tax and made the $6 million plea deal with Basi and Virk?
---------------------------
"GRAHAM WHITMARSH

Graham Whitmarsh joined the BC Public Service as Chief Advisor for Carbon Trading in April of 2007. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed the Head of the Climate Action Secretariat following an extensive public competition. As Head of the Climate Action Secretariat, Graham’s responsibilities are critical to achieving the Province’s aggressive targets of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent by 2020 and making the government of British Columbia carbon neutral by 2010."
---------------------------------

"As British Columbia approached an election in the spring of 2009, deputy finance minister Graham Whitmarsh sent out a memo to his staff on the politically sensitive topic of harmonizing the sales tax."

----------------------------------

"Loukidelis said in the statement that he and deputy finance minister Graham Whitmarsh decided to relieve the two men of responsibility for their legal fees because of their inability to pay."

--------------------------------

All of the above, are quotes from various newspapers and a Board, readily available on the internet.

Bill Tieleman said...

Hi all - I want to apologize for posting a comment that I have now deleted which contained untrue allegations against someone not involved in the case. I misread the comment before posting it yesterday and regret that it got past me.

Please help me be as accurate and fair as possible as posters by not guessing at facts and as readers by letting me know if something is wrong in any posts here - including my own.

Anonymous said...

I could not stop laughing at Campbell saying...Basi/Virk acted alone, in Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR. As usual, Campbell lied yet again. He even called, Basi/Virk criminals. That was very funny coming from, the worst thief in Canadian history. It was sleazy Campbell who, fraudulently sold the BCR, he is entirely to blame. Campbell thieved the BCR and sold it, for his and his business buddies own benefit. Likewise with our rivers. Anything Campbell, Hansen say is, automatically deemed a lie. The BC Liberals, have become objects of, ridicule and contempt.

Anonymous said...

"Campbell was caught drinking and driving. He used these politicos to do the dirty tricks he wanted.
Now they are no longer useful and he attacks them and their family.

This is a scandal."

No it isn't. Both Basi and Virk obviously agreed to go along with it. It was their choice to do so.

They could walked out and didn't.

Their choice.

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone noticed that Whitmarsh and Gary Collins are former business associates at Harmony Air?"

Harmony Air does not exist as an active air carrier so the point is a bit old.

Norm Farrell said...

"Harmony Air does not exist as an active air carrier so the point is a bit old."

Odd coincidences keep showing up don't they. The Premier's office, to whom Graham Whitmarsh is directly responsible, had a tiny interest in having the trial end, BEFORE Gary Collins was confronted in court with wiretaps and documents.

Is Whitmarsh free of conflict or perception of conflict? Is he friends with his former colleague Collins?

Coincidence or design? You decide.

Anonymous said...

Norman these trolls think their dealing with numb nuts to even think they can match intelligence or writing with yours.

Anonymous said...

Any SMART criminal knows that one MUST work alone. If ONE other person knows about his/her actions, it is one too many. In this present debacle, many, many "know", and have the goods on many others.
The Players should be afraid, very afraid. The Factories that churn out Brown Envelopes are still in productivity..............

DPL said...

a Globe and Mail article today( Thursday) includes a few more extras that were given to Basi. some body sure wanted the trail to end before the Liberal insiders got on the stand.

Anonymous said...

@12:32 - Harmony Air does not exist as an active air carrier so the point is a bit old.

Old? Yes.
Odd? Not in the world of the BC Liberals.

Current Deputy Finance Minister Whitmarsh was 'relieved' of his duties at Harmony on Nov. 30th 2006.

Former RailGate era Finance Minister Collins resigned from Harmony just one day later on Dec. 01 2006.


Two part Harmony

Anonymous said...

The media - including the so-called "citizen journalists" - are happy as pigs in crap with the Justice System, as it is. Are there any systemic deviations from Natural Justice, inherent to court administration that facilitated the B-V-B atrocity? Let's see. The entire UK licences 1,000 Barristers; BC - with one sixteenth the population - has 8,000. The judge run parasite-system allows less than 500 trials per year, out of 80,000 case registrations. And our beloved Law Society protects a legal service system that forces 25,000 non-lawyers to file without representation. And what happens to these? They go to motions Chambers where government and connected parties win nearly 100% of cases (and the Rights-bearer is stuck with $840 costs; attorney, file fees of $62, affidavit costs of $31 (compulsory filing in many cases), and sundry costs). And how are these Chambers cases heard? In Vancouver, court masters - allowed only to enforce existing orders from a real judge - inflict systemic abuse on Rights-bearers. One particular master - paid $180,000 per year and enormous benefits of office, NEVER hears pleadings from non attornies. He abridges due consideration of submitted materials, then cherry-picks pseudo-issues and Harasses the Rights-bearer into dropping the case. I can personally attest to witnessing 7 cases of direct abuse; also, assessing Costs where pleadings are not heard - hell, NEVER heard - sets up Registrars as accessories to Fraud. Why do Justice System usurpers and private-beneficiaries? For the same reason that Basi-Virk sought a private benefit: elites enjoy near impunity under the judicial-administration.

Where is the NDP in all of this? My MLA, Jenny Kwan - an ex-employee of the Vancouver Police Department - either delays response of ignores any and all inquiries concerning atrocities committed under a system from which she received a private benefit. Evan after prosecutors initiated a coup-d'etat against the last NDP Premier, the party has NEVER even questioned the tyranny of judicial-administration of the Justice System. Leonard Krog (NDP-MLA; a lawyer) is an outspoken supporter of that cess pool of injustice and corruption.

Mr Tieleman: do you want a Political System where regimes operate in Trust, or do you want the status quo?

Chris Main said...

Outrageous! This clown Campbell and his crew dismantled legal aid for poor people yet have millions of dollars available to subsidise expensive lawyers for seven years.

The poor don’t need legal aid but the gentry are indemnified. Go figure. Gordo and his crew have given anything of value away, we pay millions to fund good ambulance chasers to work on a case that should have been too high profile to ignore, charges are stayed, the boys can watch the football game at home on their big screen TVs and the swells don’t have to testify.

Sounds about perfect to me.

We spent millions on bingogate to put an 80 year old in ankle bracelets (they never did figure out what old Dave did) and now tens of millions to put two guys in bracelets for about six months.

Yet some poor slob has a beer in the beverage room at the local hotel (showing off he still has a job and can afford a beer in a commercial establishment) and the local constabulary take his right to drive away, impound his car and ruin his life all at the roadside without a trial. You got to admit it is efficient.

It is ruination I tell you.

Chris Main

Anonymous said...

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh....what's that sound ,do you here it .......why yes ricky I here a shit storm brewing.

Anonymous said...

10:51 is referring to the Trailer Park Boys

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Trailer_Park_Boys_characters

Anonymous said...

"Old? Yes.
Odd? Not in the world of the BC Liberals.

Current Deputy Finance Minister Whitmarsh was 'relieved' of his duties at Harmony on Nov. 30th 2006.

Former RailGate era Finance Minister Collins resigned from Harmony just one day later on Dec. 01 2006.

Two part Harmony"

Reason? Harmony wasn't making money. The ticketing agents and baggsage handlers were also cut loose. Too much competition from the established carrier WestJet on the same route.

Happens all the time in business, if the entity doesn't realise a return on investment.

Had nothing to do with the previous background in government.

DPL said...

I read somewhere today that the fellow who was involved in some of the money movements, a guy waiting to get called to the bar in Ontario , since the court case was shut down, is now applying again to the Ontario bar.and no wonder folks figure a lot of lawyers are on the bottom of a list of people who are to be trusted. Maybe he will come back and work for one of the "distinguished" Law first in BC where the money is really good?

Anonymous said...

Sooooooo 9:16 can you explain it to me again why Whitmarsh was let go....in the context of why the fees for the Directors of BC Rail sky rocketed when the rolling stock was sold off to CN rail, and they were left with 30 employees from 1500?

Anonymous said...

We don't trust the RCMP anymore, now that it is run by an ignorant businessman. Anything right of center is totally corrupt right across Canada. It's the renewed free enterprise welfare system.
Numnut Campbell was correct when he referred to Basi and Virk as criminals who will be paid millions of taxpayers dollars to cover his crooked ass. These are two very sleazy people They have control of numnut Campbell.How much money will they be paid by numnut Campbell and BC Rail people to not disclose what actually took place? Money is no problem,Campbell can hit ICBC for another 700 million dollars.
If the evidence is shredded that would indicate there are more people who have been bought off.

Anonymous said...

"Sooooooo 9:16 can you explain it to me again why Whitmarsh was let go....in the context of why the fees for the Directors of BC Rail sky rocketed when the rolling stock was sold off to CN rail, and they were left with 30 employees from 1500?"

Simple answer: Ask him. The original statement was regarding Collins and Whitmarsh within Harmony Airways, not BC Rail.

This is getting to be a bit more of spinning the wheels. The case has been concluded. The outcome not acceptable to the taxpayers. The BC Liberals will most likely lose the next election and the NDP will win.

Time to move on

Repeating and repetitive opinions aren't worth reading anymore.

Anonymous said...

Berardino declined to say if plea bargain discussions with defence had taken place at previous points in the six year case.

“I don’t think I should comment on that. It’s privileged,” he said

..........................

In common law jurisdictions, legal professional privilege protects all communications between a professional legal adviser (a solicitor, barrister or attorney) and his or her clients from being disclosed without the permission of the client. The privilege is that of the client and not that of the lawyer. wikipedia
...................................

For clarification Bill, the client would be the guy who appointed the Special Prosecutor.????? taxpayer funded???????
...................................
Does the guy in the AG's office answer to the AG or someone who isn't politically connected to the BC Rail trial?

SB said...

Campbells Govt spent millions on lawyers to hide the truth he sure as hell isnt going to want us to see what he paid to hide is he , it appears hes bold face lying though because if Basi -Virk were criminals why did eh allow taxpayers to pay the fees and sign a non disclosure about the whole case ?

Anonymous said...

BC taxpayers are being shafted by the corporate owned and controlled neocons news media. CKNW,Times Colonist,Vancouver Sun The Province.and all the small town news outlets. They are very reluctant to print anti government news. They have been told to knock it off.
If the NDP were gov and had got involved with selling out BC these news outlets would have the issues on their front pages from now till the next election. PAB,Campbell's supporters would have been on CKNW every day mouthing off anti NDP crap.
Les Leyne(TC) could do another article on Glen Clark and David Stupich. CKNW could take some credit for getting Campbell the retard elected. A lot of business people don't like the NDP because they are not corrupt or on the take. Basi and Virk,how low will some East Indians go?
The corrupt private sector and corporations will be looking for another party to support. I'm sure the conservatives will welcome them aboard
HST?.We live on the Island. We do not patronize the big restaurants anymore We have a Native owned casino that we support. We don't drink, smoke or gamble but enjoy their affordable meals Bowl of soup sandwich and coffee,two people $18
All you can eat prime rib,$11.95.
NO HST. We would sooner support our native people than a foreign owned restaurant

Anonymous said...

I'VE WAITED FOR TWO DAY'S NOW AND NOBODIES STATED THE INVOLVEMENT OF CAMPBELL AND HANSEN AND THE REST OF THE CABINET IN THE NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE GUILTY PLEA ,WHY NOT TELL US ABOUT THAT!!!!sorry for shouting but jeezuz tell them Bill,can hardly wait for that bombastic piece your working on and thank you Mary Koot Norm Laila Ross k Grant my man aka the infamous Brain from garden bay for all your hard work and awesome insights into all things slippery,and look forward to much more because we know the pillaging will continue.

Anonymous said...

Well, we know anyone opposing Campbell, loses their jobs. That we have seen more than once. Bad press about Campbell, means no government ads. Same as TV media. Campbell tampered with the FOI. Elections BC are now also corrupt. The RCMP, had to back off on, any further investigation of Campbell. They could lose their contract with, BC province. That is how low, Campbell is willing to stoop. He and Hansen, lied, deceived, and cheated to win. I guess they are a product of their upbringing environment. Decent people would never behave as they do.