Thursday, May 15, 2008

Erik Bornmann spotted at Victoria court house were ALR corruption charges preliminary hearing held; NDP asks for RCMP to investigate Ken Dobell

Erik Bornmann, the key crown witness in the BC Legislature raid case, was spotted Monday at the Victoria courthouse where a preliminary hearing was being held into separate breach of trust charges against ex-BC government aide David Basi and two developers regarding the attempted removal of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve for a Sooke housing project.

And BC NDP MLA Leonard Krog has filed a written request with the RCMP that the force investigate Ken Dobell, former deputy minister to Premier Gordon Campbell, over allegations that he gained access to confidential documents seized in the BC Legislature raid without signing a required undertaking not to discuss or disclose the contents with anyone.

Those charged with breach of trust and defrauding government in the Sooke case are David Basi, the former ministerial aide to ex BC Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins and one of three defendents facing separate corruption charges related to the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail; and developers Tony Young and Jim Duncan.

Reliable sources spotted Bornmann at the court house. A publication ban on the preliminary hearing has apparently been imposed by Justice Ernie Quantz.

Basi's charges have been severed from those of Young and Duncan, apparently due to the lengthy delays in the BC Legislature raid case, which has yet to come to trial after four years.

The allegations against Basi, Young and Duncan arose in April 2006, when Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino filed three counts of fraud and one of breach of trust against the men for offences that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1, 2002, and Sept. 1, 2003.

The Crown alleges in an indictment that Basi received $50,000 in connection to an application to remove property owned by Shambrook Hills Development Corp., a company also known as Sun River Estates Ltd., from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Basi's lawyer Michael Bolton dismissed the charges against his client at the time they were laid.

"He has no connection with the Agricultural Land Commission and no ability to influence its decisions. Only an idiot would think he could influence those decisions. And he's never pretended he could influence those decisions," Bolton said in April, 2006.

"So we reject categorically the position of the Crown on these charges, just as we do with the other charges."

Meanwhile Krog, NDP critic for the Attorney-General, sent a letter to Gary Bass, Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP's Pacific Region, asking that the force begin a "criminal investigation immediately" into how Ken Dobell gained access to documents seized by police without signing an undertaking not to divulge or discuss the contents.

Then there was this exchange in Question Period on Wednesday, where NDP MLA Bruce Ralston asked Attorney-General Wally Oppal whether Dobell's access to the seized documents could have had any bearing on the resignation of then-Finance Minister Gary Collins three weeks later:

B. Ralston: Mr. Dobell, the Premier's Deputy Minister and his alter ego, viewed and discussed critical documents in the B.C. Rail corruption trial investigation — this despite the fact that he was not authorized to do so under a protocol approved by the B.C. Supreme Court. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

On May 28, 2007, the Premier in this House said: "The Premier's office won't be checked with on this." After talking at length last year, the Premier is now suddenly reluctant to explain this contradiction. Can the Attorney General advise: was the Premier wrong to discuss this matter here in this House last year? [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Hon. W. Oppal: Well, if there are contradictions, I'm sure the judge is capable of dealing with them. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]


Mr. Speaker: Members.

The member has a supplemental.

B. Ralston: On November 24, 2004, the lawyer for the Premier and cabinet Mr. George Copley, QC, wrote a letter to Mr. Dobell. He addressed it to: "Ken Dobell, Deputy Minister to the Premier, Premier's office." Mr. Copley confirmed that the two had met earlier to discuss documents which were critical to the investigation — so critical, in fact, that the RCMP were planning to interview ministers Gary Collins and Judith Reid about those very documents. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Three weeks later, on December 14, Gary Collins abruptly resigned and left politics. Can the Premier assure this House that there was no connection between Mr. Dobell's viewing of those documents and Mr. Collins's departure? [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Hon. W. Oppal: Hon. Speaker, I have the same answer.

* * * * *
Hopefully more real answers will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.


Anonymous said...

My Gosh Bill. there seems to be any number of possibly sleazy characters in and around this government. Wally will be worn out repeating his"It's before the Courts" defence. The man was a judge making it up to the appeals Court. I find it hard to believe he enjoys what he is doing with his weaving and bobbing. Should take up boxing as a new career. Keep an eye on those folks Bill, which seems to be almost a full time job for you.

Anonymous said...

Never mind that BC is the organized crime capital of Canada just look at the gang of fiberal political gang members who are giving OUR future away to their corporate buds, "follow the money".
It's time to shut the prison door on the whole bunch of these despicable traitors of democracy, screw the 4 year reign of corruption.

Anonymous said...

The real question as to why Gary Collins is centre stage is simple:

While Premier Gordon Campbell was away for his annual vacation retreat on Hawaii, Deputy Premier Christy Clark was in town, but not available to answer news media questions regarding the raid on the legislature, but Gary Collins was... Why Collins, why not Clark?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bornmann is never far off your radar Bill.

I wonder if the Special Prosecutor may continue with his policy of a publication ban.


Anonymous said...

Why hasn't these charges been filed in Supreme Court? I have not come across a bribery case that has been tested in Provincial Court.

Something is not right with the way this case is being prosecuted.

That's the understatement of the last 5 years!

Anonymous said...


You are being too hard on the Spiderman.

Maybe someone in the Evidence Storage Room of the Law Courts Building was locked-out of the office and need some "expert help" at getting in and by a fluke Erik was visiting Victoria and was there to help.


Anonymous said...

11 AM Friday: I am at the Vancouver courthouse, and I just learned that Oppal's first my-prosecutors-don't-testify case is on today. Again, they leave the public out of the loop. And AJ, Patrick Dohm is deciding the 3 motions, which arose out of the Frank Paul inquiry. Dohm wrist slapped Walls-Millard in the million dollar kiting case against CIBC.

By the Regional Crown's own admission, 30% of charge recommendations are sent back to police for "more information." The public really needs to know why they do that. Shame on Wally Oppal for signing broad powers for Commissioner Davies, and now trying to sandbag his work. That is as bad a Rich Coleman's closure on ANY scrutiny of the Paul' cops. When Davies issues his report, the public will take another look at Coleman's cop interest ministry. The RCMP had just blown the DTES murder investigations (Picton); so Campbell choses to hand the Solicitor General's office to an ex RCMP member. Bad judgment. Remember: Mayor Sam Sullivan was the only member of city council to oppose the Paul inquiry. What a void of public purpose!

Gary E said...

After reading the protocol and letter a couple of questions occurred to me.

If Corporal Mar was charged with keeping continuity of these documents, did she allow Dobell to sign them out? Personally I don't think she did.

And if Dobell didn't sign them out, who did? Most likely Copely. And if it was Copely, then he would have given the documents to Dobell, and been in breach of his undertaking.

I don't think I'd like to be in Copelys' shoes right now.

Anonymous said...

C'mon you guys! Lay off Dobs. He just has pressure on his cerebral cortex from wearing too many hats, thus causing brain farts....