Thursday, March 08, 2007

More on Basi Virk trial delay

Trial delayed again



The long-delayed trial of former provincial government aides David Basi and Bob Virk on breach of trust charges will take a little longer still to get underway.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett has reluctantly delayed the planned April 2 start date for the trial connected to a police raid on the B.C. Legislature on Dec. 28, 2003 due to disclosure of evidence and administrative issues.

Bennett yesterday set April 16 for the start of a three-week hearing on the defence's application for disclosure of Crown evidence.

But Justice Bennett questioned why she read about the defence application in the media before she herself had received it.

And Bennett warned that she would make the case as open as possible after receiving a complaint letter from a member of the public about being unable to access the defence document through the court registry.

"Just so we're clear, the public interest in having this case heard outweighs just about everything else," Justice Bennett told the courtroom full of lawyers at the end of yesterday's hearing.

Robin Mathews, a retired professor of Canadian studies who has been closely following the case, told 24 hours he was the complainant.

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