Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Judge discovers mystery computer hard drive in Supreme Court Registry containing BC Legislature raid emails; defence raises fast ferries politics

A case involving allegations of political corruption got more bizarre Tuesday when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett revealed that a computer hard drive seized in the B.C. Legislature raid in 2003 is sitting in the court registry.

And defence lawyers said up to 140 emails the provincial government is trying to keep secret include information about the “running orders” of an ex-ministerial aide regarding “political initiatives” around three fast ferries sold by B.C. Ferries for a fraction of their initial cost.

“Can anyone shed light on the hard drive at the registry?” Bennett asked a surprised courtroom full of lawyers. “It shouldn’t be at the registry – that’s about the last place it should be – although it’s safe there.”

Lawyers for David Basi and Bob Virk, former provincial aides accused of leaking confidential government documents to a lobbyist representing a bidder in the $1 billion B.C. Rail sale, were alarmed by the latest discovery of missing evidence.

“Very serious concerns were raised about the integrity of evidence,” Michael Bolton said outside court. “We’ll certainly be asking questions about how and why this came to be here.”

Bolton said the emails on the B.C. Rail deal, whose existence was only revealed in court Monday, also include information about the controversial fast ferries that is relevant to the Basi and Virk’s defence.

”The role of documents like that relates to the roles and functions of ministerial assistants regarding political initiatives,” Bolton said.

Kevin McCullough, Virk’s lawyer, said in court that the defence also wants to know exactly who the emails went to, asking if staff in Premier Gordon Campbell’s office were among the recipients.

“It’s very helpful to see the forwards,” McCullough said. “When a person you wouldn’t think in the premier’s office is getting it.”

In court special prosecutor Janet Winteringham told Bennett she’s not sure why the hard drive was at the court or whether information contained on it had been disclosed.

But Bolton told reporters afterwards that the hard drive would appear to have been in the court registry for years.

And Bolton said he believes that despite problems with disclosure of evidence, the case is moving towards the planned March 17 trial start.

“The judge is certainly doing everything she can to move the case along,” he said when questioned whether the trial can start on time.


Anonymous said...

Anything more from Copley this morning Bill?

I think I'd like to see a lot more attention focused on his role as a 'fixer' for the premier in this little shindig.

I distinctly remember several reports of his appearance last spring which said, in no uncertain terms, that he'd handed over everything...

There is a stronger and stronger scent of rot coming up from this case.

Please don't let up now. The spring session is fast approaching and with the economy starting to tank I think there’s a lot more coming which will really embarrass Campbell and his cronies.

Anonymous said...

More troubling facts regarding non disclosure of evidence and the special prosecutor cannot offer an explanation?

I concur, there is a strong odor of BS in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court.

Better tell Campbell to check the emission levels from his messanger. Some carbon trading is in order.

BC Mary said...

Looks to me, Bill, as if the Defence has a lot of evidence, knows so very much more, that they could very nicely defend the three accused if only this thing would come to trial.

Man alive, I wanta know about those "running orders" for killing the last vestige of sanity regarding the destruction of the PacifiCats. What a bonus that would be, for the long, miserable battle centred upon BCRail.

Many thanks for another good report.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr.T.
The judge must be getting a bit upset about the group at the court house keeping track of the records.

Interesting about the fast ferries sale, or should I say give away. The folks who built them now own them for a fraction of what they had offered the previous government for them. If they stick in some medium sized gas turbines instead of the very heavy diesels they would lose a lot of weight and really fly. Less maintenance, burn almost anything and that could really increase the load capability. But I'm off the origional article. Keep after those guys and keep telling us the great unwashed what you hear.

Anonymous said...

BC Liberal Hard Drive emails protected by Executive Privilege.
Sounds like 1974 and the White House Tapes all over again.

"People have got to realize their Premier is not a crook, and I'm no crook" . . . Premier Richard Milhouse Nixon.

Anonymous said...

Most Polititions seem to come into politics with lawyer degrees, from a failing 'practice' or otherwise.
Lawyers are the least liked profession , after Politicions.
Nobody in Government has ever shown any of us a "Recognized" Degree in the portfolio the have been handed. It is assumed , by us that these people are a well trained person, however they are not.They are getting 'on-the-job' training,. If that person does not work out, they get 'shuffled'. This puts a person (of obvious incompetence), in another position of trust, and still incompetent. If i ran my company with such policies, I would be in constant litigation or just plain bankrupt.
None of our Federal 'Employees', seem to have to be as transparent with thier 'credentials', as the common 'joe or jane' that I would hire. I check his or her resumee. This INCLUDES Harper. A true Christrian waving the bible to get his own means.
It seems we just accept the word of the head 'employee' we hired as Prime Minister, to put the 'buddy'
of his in the cushy position promised to he or she. The same goes for the liberals here in B.C.
This has ticked me off for all my voting life. Nobody is accountable for their credentials, that would satisfy people like me.

P.S. Who tore up the "British North America Act'?
It should be read cover to cover, before you vote.
It will tell you how you are truely getting hosed over by the clowns we 'Hired' in Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

I believe that OUR BC Rail was an intrical part of the NAU's Gateway Project or super highway to connect the BC coast (CNR), Mexico and USA or words to that effect.
CNR is one of the ten Canadian corporations who sit in on the secret meetings at Montabello etc.
Gordo, Klien and S Harper
Wikipedia: In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved by such an endeavour.