Thursday, July 10, 2008

Basi-Virk: BC Court of Appeal rules against Special Prosecutor on secret witness issue - future of case uncertain

UPDATED - 1:50 p.m.

The BC Court of Appeal has ruled against an application by the Special Prosecutor to overturn a BC Supreme Court decision regarding the appearance of a secret witness in the case of three government aides facing corruption charges connected to the $1 billion sale of BC Rail.

The ruling leaves the entire case in limbo, as Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino hinted before the Appeal Court decision that the Crown may not be able to proceed with the prosecution if the special witness could not give evidence.

In a split decision, two of three BC Court of Appeal justices have upheld a ruling by BC Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett that defence lawyers have the right to be present in court to hear information on why the Special Prosecutor wants a secret witness to testify against David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi.

Berardino has previously said the Crown would not breach informant privilege, opening the possibility of dropping the case if the Appeal Court ruled in favour of the defence, as has now happened.


In an interview, Virk's lawyer Kevin McCullough said that if Berardino appeals the BC Court of Appeal decision significant delay is inevitable.

"If the Special Prosecutor appeals this matter to the Supreme Court of Canada it's going to impact and delay this case," McCullough said. "We are hoping that doesn't happen."

"Our clients are anxious to get on - they've had their lives on hold for four and a half years and any further delay is something that neither counsel nor their clients are looking forward to. I hope it doesn't happen," he said.

Berardino has 10 days to file an appeal of the new ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has not yet responded to requests for an interview.

In the Court of Appeal ruling, the justices outline the circumstances:: "The issue on this appeal is whether Madam Justice Bennett erred in ordering that defence counsel may be present at an in camera hearing to determine whether informer privilege exists. The issue arose in pre-trial proceedings on an application for disclosure by the defence...."

"The Crown applied to call evidence to establish informer privilege in camera, excluding not only the public but the accused and their counsel as well...."

"On 7 December 2007 the presiding judge made this ruling:

[22] Therefore, again for the reasons given yesterday and today, the application pursuant to s. 37 of the Evidence Act is dismissed. The in camera hearing will occur with defence counsel present.

The defence counsel and court staff present are bound by the following Court order:
That he or she will not disclose anything heard in the in camera hearing to anyone, including his or her client, other members of his or her law firm, their family or any members of the public without further order of this Court. Failure to comply with this order will result in a contempt of court hearing.

Written undertakings in similar language are also required to be filed by counsel. "

Chief Justice Lance Finch and Justice Ian Donald upheld Bennett's ruling, while Justice Catherine Ryan.

Finch wrote in support of the original ruling that:

"[62] On balance, I respectfully agree with the interpretation of defence counsel as to the nature and effect of the order pronounced on 7 December 2007. This order was made before the in camera hearing commenced. The judge made clear that she did not have information that would permit her to anticipate what might occur, nor to make an order authorizing, or prohibiting, disclosure.

[63] The judge cannot be taken to have precluded herself from conducting some part of the in camera hearing ex parte, if she considers that to be necessary. It is abundantly clear from everything the judge said in her reasons of 7 December 2007, and on her earlier rulings of 3 and 6 December 2007, that she fully understands the Court’s obligation to protect informer privilege. She has made a preliminary ruling that was within her discretion and that does not mandate disclosure of information that may tend to identify the informer. The terms of the order prohibiting disclosure of anything heard in camera, and the requirement for undertakings, appear to me to have been imposed from an abundance of caution.

[64] If I am wrong in my interpretation of the judge’s order, and it is properly to be considered an order for disclosure of confidential information, it was, on its terms, well within the discretion granted by s. 37. The Special Prosecutor said that an appeal lay against the judge’s order because it was made under s. 37(5). As mentioned earlier, that subsection gives the judge a discretion to balance the public interest in disclosure against the importance of the specified public interest. The judge was fully aware of the importance of informer privilege. She was also alive to the accused’s right to a fair trial.

[65] It appears to me to be inconsistent for the Special Prosecutor to assert on the one hand that the order was made under s. 37(5), for the purposes of supporting a right to appeal, and at the same time to deny the existence of any discretion in the judge to balance the competing interests.

[66] Finally, there are the provisions of s. 37.3 authorizing the judge to make any order necessary to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial.

[67] In my view, if the order of 7 December 2007 is an order for disclosure, it was within the judge’s discretion.

[68] In my respectful opinion, the trial judge has not made any order under s. 37(4.1), (5) or (6) from which an appeal may be taken. I consider that this appeal is premature, and that there is no right of appeal in respect of the order made on 7 December 2007.

[69] I would dismiss the appeal on the ground that this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain it."

More on this important new development as it becomes available.

NOTE: A shorter version of this story is in Friday's 24 hours newspaper.


BC Mary said...


I think some of us will remember where we were today -- the day this Basi Virk Basi / BC Rail judgment was given. The implications are massive.

I hope, hope, hope this won't result in dismissal ... there's too much at stake here, including the automatic penalty to the taxpayer of footing the bill (in the millions) while receiving nothing to tell us why and how we lost BCRail.

Somehow I don't see Bill Berardino as having that kind of villainy in his toolkit. The people of B.C. deserve to hear the testimony from this case.

Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball and your ear to the ground. The bits from the judgment are especially appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Did Berardino say he would drop the case if he lost the appeal or, merely, that he would drop the witness? I was under the impression that he said the later.

Anonymous said...

The broken justice system has many tricks in its bag available in times of crisis:

This decision is a double edged sword: Of course the Defense need to be in that hearing - so far, so good.

But . . . . the catch22 is Berardino's little threat about not proceeding and or not dropping the witness.

Pretty tidy little game the justice system has cooked up here, to one way or the other, protect the high profile, political "players" bonded in corruption together. Basi Virk et al were just the little prongs connecting the gang . . . no way are they going down for taking orders from the Prem's Office . . . Capiche (sp)????

Anonymous said...

Open letter to Berardino:

Mr. Berardino,

The decision today from the highest court in the Province should be a message to you. Please do not appeal this decision furthur. Respect the Supreme Court of BC decision from December 2007 and the Court of Appeal decision from today and get on with this trial.

A skeptic may believe that you will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada in order to prevent this trial from going ahead before the next election. It is clear that in order to have this case heard at the SCC could delay this case until the middle of 2009 and thus after the next election. The recent decision from Rafe Mair's libel suit took almost 10 years from start to finish.

As the media lawyer Roger McConnachie predicted, the Special Prosecutor would appeal the issue of a secret witness as a never ending Matryoshka Russian nesting doll.

Do not continue the urge to produce yet another doll. Begin this trial at once, as the people of BC have been requesting.


Paul Gill - concerned member of the public
Surrey BC

Budd Campbell said...

What on earth could these undercover witnesses have to offer that the exclusion of their evidence, because they fear being identified, would lead to the complete dismissal of the prosecution's case? Is the prosecution's case that thin, despite the trillions of pages of documents?

Anonymous said...

Correction to post 1:44 pm above:

It should read:

". . . . the catch22 is Berardino's little threat about not proceeding and/or dropping the secret witness."

Anonymous said...

What a sick, pathetic and twisted saga this has become. If Bill Berardino is reading this I would like to state the following,

Mr. Berardino, from the beginning you have grossly mishandled this case. Your deal/no deal with a man of Bornmann's shall we say questionable character, your inability or unwillingness to rein in conflicts of interest so obvious and plain to see - the debruyckere conflict, cowan - just to name a few, and your complete inability to conduct yourself as an impartial special prosecutor has been so damaging that if you had an ounce of decency you would resign as the Special Prosecutor forthwith and let a more seasoned, experienced criminal lawyer with no attachment to this case or to the questionable characters you have allied yourself with in the rcmp take over and make some hard decisions.

Shame on you Mr. Berardino!

Anonymous said...

If the case gets dismissed 5 to 1 odds says the secret witness publishes a book. "How I would sell a railway without getting caught"

Anonymous said...

Actually, it presents a delicious secenario...civil action? What's available to Basi and Virk? What evidence do McCullough and Bolten have in there possession that would make this plausible?

If it's dismissed, a fellow named Gordon Campbell will NOT be able to sit in silence and hide behind a stone-Wally.

He'll have to answer.

Just watch.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Motto proven again . . . "WE ONLY CHEAT WHEN WE CAN'T WIN, and GUESS WHAT YOU FOOLS, WE ARE WINNING AGAIN" ... BC Premier Robert Mugabe.

That glass of wine is getting closer and closer to my lips.
I told back in 04, that no Made Grit would ever do time in BC.
All three ends of this legal equation are controlled by the same master.

And the official-idiot Opposition Leader Ms. James . . . will insure that the political truth of Basigate will never come out either.


Anonymous said...

You have to admit, the special prosecutor has unlimited money( ours) He is there at the whim of the Liberal government who will back him to the hilt The guy is doing what he is very well paid to do. We don't like it but he can go higher. He is supposed to be representing the people of BC but , the people of BC don't count. Some secret witness counts much more. Sad thing all round. But it was neat to see the old tapes of the Ledg, raids on CBC News this evening along with the appeals Court decision. WE are all paying for this coverage so can get some comfort out of the fact that the tapes still exist.
Thanks bill for passing parts of the decision along to us.
I wonder why it is that so many posters on this site are called anonymous. What is their motive by doing so?

BC Liberals Suck said...

I'm hoping some enterprising folks out there are doing FOI requests to see how much this fiasco has cost taxpayers to this point? I think we definitely have a right to know that heading into an election.

This was a good legal decision made by the BC judges. I think it is quite certain that the government will appeal it to drag this out. If one were to take a Machiavellian perspective, of which the "Backroomers" are sure to take, there is no way in hell this will go to trial with an election pending in less than 10 months. That would be political suicide and there are still some pieces of our resources and legacy Campbell & his bunch have to sell off before the candy store is empty.

Berardino is like most senior civil hacks, he is doing what he's told and handling the case how his masters want it handled. That's how it works. Remember the corruption charges against the cops in Ontario, thrown out for breaching their right to a speedy trial?

I tend to agree that the civil trial(s)will be spectacular and very, very interesting.

Here's another little tidbit over at CBC of another specially appointed investigator for senior bureaucrats:

Investigation of senior civil servant should be public, B.C. NDP says

Anonymous said...

One area that has always been a concern for me is the privileged connections that stem back to hogh school days. You know, being from the right part of town, connected to a point where you seem to know everyone in positions of influence. and, when you need something then draw on these old connections, loyalties, favors. (or whatever you want to call it)

If I'm not mistaken isn't Berardino a Prince of Wales graduate. Right part of town to be connected and dare I say owing to the club, fraternity or whatever? Simply more food for thought.

Anonymous said...

from the comments for

"Investigation of senior civil servant should be public, B.C. NDP says"

bigscary wrote:

The ministry of health along with the ministry of labour and citizen services are two of the most notoriously corrupt ministries in Victoria.

The investigation shouldn't limit themselves to Ron Danderfer. In the contractor community in Victoria (large companies and small) moh are known to be a closed shop. If you or your firm didn't have an 'in' at moh, you would just be spinning your wheels responding to requests for proposals (bidding on a contract). Contracts were awarded over and over again to the same people/firms. What would happen is that a contractor or consulting firm would try to court moh, talk to the people who generated the contracts and rfps, respond to a number of them with no success and eventually give up. It costs a lot in time and resources to put together a proposal and if you keep getting turned down in favour of companies that keep winning time and time again you'll get the message and stop responding. I personally know of one firm that seriously lowballed the price in a response and provided nothing but outstanding qualifications/staff for a rfp but were turned down for specious reasons. Frankly if it were known to more people that a contract could be purchased for a mere $10k a lot more money would have been handed over to spouses. There aren't too many (if any) consultants or contractors in Victoria that will protest the award of a contract to another firm - they can't afford to challenge an award in such a small inbred town - it would be career suicide. The fact that even a few large vendors have complained about the bidding process at moh is stunning - I just cannot stress this enough - that does NOT happen unless there is something outrageously wrong.

The corruption at moh doesn't end with the awarding of contracts. The way the contracts are managed AFTER they've been awarded also stinks to high heaven. Extensions, direct awards, multiple under the limit for public postings contracts, contracts being catered to a sole firm (must have experience with 123456blahblah custom software that only the previous vendor has any exposure to. I saw one winning response to a rfp that called for such experience were the consulting firm was so cocky and confident that they put in their response that they 'were the only firm with the experience and capablility of fullfilling this contract'; well duh - they were the consutling firm that had the previous stage of the project and were therefore the only ones with experience. The contract should have stressed equivilent and related knowledge and not have been so specific for the rfp to be fair. And my personal favourite - I know of at least two instances where contractors at moh attended training classes that were paid for by the government in addition to being billed for the time for them to attend these courses.

The thing to understand about civil servants is that the one thing they truly excel at is covering their asses. This is done by never being a sole signatory on a document, doing eveything in meetings and having and decision be arrived at by consensus. They're also adept at piling layer upon layer of convoluted bs to every answer that is dragged out of them to the extent where they never really ever answer a question openly, honestly or completely.

The rcmp should open up a confidential hot line for people to call with details of all the crap that has gone down at moh.

It's very discouraging having this info when you know how the government and it's minions will respond - the obfuscations and bs they generate to cover their actions is nauseating.

People are also less likely to come forward if they know the information will result in an internal witch hunt.

If there was a published publicily known phone number that people could access to report some of the nonsense that has gone down at various ministries they'd be more likely to make the effort. Of course it would have to be an agency that was totally unconnected to the bc government - remember 'waste busters'? What a joke that was.

Right now they are focussing on Ron Danderfer and I'm sure that anything else they turn up will be deemed out of scope and not addressed. This is too bad - while the danderfers (ron, wife and the son who was also a director at moh) were corrupt, they didn't and couldn't operate in a vacuum.

If they ever announce that they're opening up the investigation to cover more than just that one 10K cheque AND if they establish a hot line they might get some info. If people know they won't be the sole whistle blowers they'll be more likely to reply. Vendors and staff are very very reluctant to put their necks on the line - even if it's confidential - it's too easy to narrow down the number of people who may have had access to certain info.

Speaking of which - some of the people who would have the most concrete dirt on the actions of moh and lcs would be the finance clerks. If the rcmp or the cbc could get a few of them to 'turn' they'd strike gold.

I'll think about what you said though.

Anonymous said...

What a mockery of justice! People naively believe that we have this venerable system that will deliver justice blindly to all, if we ever require it. The elegant edifices, the priceless bronze statues of the blindfolded lady justice, the formal gowns and traditions, the solemn oaths, the fancy language, the reams of laws and paperwork, etc., etc. -- all the trappings to convince the ordinary citizen that it's all for real.

The Basi Virk circus reminds us that we're no better off than the Americans with their OJ-style celebrity sham trials. Look at Mulroney or Air India - if we couldn't convict the heinous villains who murdered hundreds of innocents in cold blood, does anyone really believe we will ever see justice if it involves political embarrassment to someone like Campbell?

The whole lot of them - Berardino especially - are a disgrace! It's all an elaborate con job, carried out at enormous cost to taxpayers, to maintain the illusion. When the public is clearly tired of throwing good money after bad, they will find the right technicality to pull the plug.

Our "justice sytem" was only ever meant to keep the bread-stealers and rabble off the streets, not for this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Bill has Berardino returned your call yet??

Berardino will appeal to the SCC and that will take more years.

Please Bill, i hope that you will ask him the tough questions that the people of BC are asking.

What will Berardino do if the SCC agrees with the Supreme Court of BC, and now the Appeal Court? If the SCC doesn't agree with the Special Prosecutor, does that mean he drops this as he indicated already?

Troubling times are ahead for this long running saga.

Anonymous said...

Honourable Madam Justice Catherine Ryan's dissent is a very interesting read... Two quotes:

"[76] Given the differing positions of the appellant and the respondents as to the effect of the order in question, it is regrettable that the parties did not obtain an entered order to clarify the order made by the learned trial judge. In hindsight it would have been preferable for this Court to reserve judgment until the parties had done so."

"[113] Finally, while not necessary to my reasons, it bears noting the mischief that would be caused by the presence of defence counsel at a first stage hearing. First, and most obviously, what informer would be confident giving information to the police about someone he or she rightly fears knowing that the lawyer for that person can learn his identity? Second, the possession of such knowledge places defence counsel in the invidious position of being required to second guess all decisions he or she makes as to the course of the defence investigation – are his or her inquiries to some degree influenced by knowledge of the informer’s identity? If counsel decides to pursue an avenue of investigation based on his knowledge of the informer, will some aspect of that investigation inadvertently disclose the identity of the informer? Third, by accepting information that cannot be disclosed to his client, defence counsel puts at risk the confidence that the accused must have in his or her lawyer. Communications between the lawyer and the client can only be hampered by the burden of such secrecy."

tinaz said...

This week Justice Ian Pitfield of the BC Supreme Court granted BCTC the enforcement order they were seeking against the Tsawwassen residents against higher voltage overhead lines. I attended the hearing on Thursday, and to hear the judge say to the lawyer representing the Delta Police that the duties of law enforcement is to maintain law and order, I thought, if only that could be applied to the government and other private and public bodies and not only to private citizens, like those in Delta who have been deceived by the liberal government.

Subsequently, there are no surprises that the special prosecutor Bill Berardino may not proceed with the case of Basi-Virk. I would in fact be more shocked to see the case proceed and hear about the corruption, which would include many different trusted officials. The time will come when many trusted officials who have betrayed us will be put to justice however the time is not now.

Tina Z

Anonymous said...

Bill, it appears that anonymous 9:24 would appear to be someone connected to the not so Special Prosecutor. How pathetic, they grasp at straws by quoting the dissenting opinion.

The judgement throwing out the appeal was written by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal - not a "johnny come lately". Maybe the brilliant legal minds that are prosecuting this case have so deluded themselves they have take leave of their senses!! Nice try Andi, but its almost over now!

Anonymous said...

So is Ryan's dissenting opinion enough to justify taking this to the SCC?

I fail to see the logic in this appeal going furthur without testing the issue with Justice Bennett. Her order was not for disclosure of the secret witness it was for the presenting of evidence from the Special Prosecutor that there is in fact a case to be made that there is a so called "informant".

Michael Bolton stated in Appeal Court that "political operatives" have requested annonymity. I beleive that this witness is merely someone who does not want to be identifed rather than testify in open court.

Stop delaying. The people of BC need Beradino to get out of his office and into the Supreme Court of BC.

Gary E said...

Anon 1:04AM
Personally I'm glad that the dissenting opinion was posted. I had been looking for it yesterday.

Yes, it would have been nice to see a unanimous decision on this appeal. I was certainly hopng for one. But we have a split decision.
So it is interesting to see what the dissenting judge had to say.

The way I read it there is a lot of "could have and what ifs" involved in her dissent. So basically I alledge she may have been grasping at straws. So now the question is: Why?
The answer I have is I don't know. But it may be interesting to read the Complete Decision in context to attempt to find out. I'll be doing that as soon as I can get time.

Anonymous said...

Gary E - Surely you believe that the Special Prosecutor is not acting in the public interest by delaying this case furthur should he announce on Monday his appeal to the SCC.

Is not time for Berardino to get out of his office and get into the courtroom?

The public in BC have had enough of Bill Berardino delaying this case for 5 years. We need answers before the next election.

Anonymous said...

The right of answer-in-defence is absolute; judicial power is relative in that regard.

Canadians should be asking why the public waits years for decisions that are usually based on a single question: did they or didn't they? The current system is a sick joke, and the Brenner-Seckel rules would make the court system inaccessible to all but the rich and tolerant of moronic delays. Again: the BC Justice Reform website noted specific prohibitions against public participation in the Brenner-Seckel process. The rule makers and their flunkies even refused to answer their mail or telephone calls. CJ Brenner - a public wage taker - sees the public of financiers of a system that screws the public. We need to tell him to go to hell.

Anonymous said...

Gov't doesn't want e-mails published
B.C. RAIL CASE: Messages to be released to defence, but not the public

Keith Fraser
Canwest News Service

Sunday, July 13, 2008

An application to ban publication of the details of dozens of e-mails the B.C. government is preparing to release in connection with the trial of three former aides charged with corruption has riled the NDP.

In January, the trial judge, B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, found that more than 90 e-mails were relevant to the defence of the accused, but the government was asserting privilege over them.

Now the government is ready to waive privilege, but wants the judge to order strict conditions on the release of the e-mails to the defence and special prosecutor Bill Berardino, as well as impose a ban on reporting on the material.

"The release of these documents is not going to prejudice any decision by the trier of fact, which in this case will be the judge," said NDP justice critic Leonard Krog. "[Premier] Gordon Campbell promised complete co-operation, and it's becoming increasingly clear that that was another empty Liberal promise. It's time to get on with this case, to stop withholding documents for any reason whatsoever."

"The people are entitled to know, pure and simple," Krog added. "This trial needs to get started. Further applications are only going to delay the start of this trial and eventually may lead to this case being dismissed."

The application says that if any lawyers in court refer to the contents of the documents in open court, there is a ban. But absent any warning of banned material during arguments, there's clearly a danger the ban could be violated inadvertently by reporters.

George Copley, who represents the government's executive council and who filed the application expected to be heard in court tomorrow, declined to comment on any concerns.

"I think that it's best that it be dealt with in court."

The documents, which relate to the government's controversial sale of B.C. Rail, were seized from the government's computer server and from the computers of two of the accused, David Basi and Bobby Virk.

In other news in the case, defence lawyers have been advised that Berardino intends to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that allows the lawyers to attend an in-camera hearing related to a police informant issue.

Basi and Virk are accused of accepting a benefit, breach of trust and fraud for allegedly leaking information about the bidding process in the sale of B.C. Rail. Aneal Basi is accused of money laundering.

© The Vancouver Province

Gary E said...

Anon 8:51 PM
Yes I do beleive that the SP is NOT acting in the best interest of the people of this province. In fact I beleive now that he is being dictated to, either directly or indirectly, by the Premier. But the only way to prove or disprove any of these suspicions in my view is to check with the Gazette. All direction to the SP must be published in the Gazette. But the option is there to delay that publication. And I don't know how to access the Gazette for free. I'm pretty sure there is a fee.
Funny, the Canada Gazette is online but not the "open and honest" BC Government one.

Anonymous said...

No clue why some of you are still frothing and thrashing about...the calculus is really simple...

If this proceeds, the answers sought will have to be fact, the impact may be greater if the govt is reelected (if not, you can bet on a public inquiry set in motion by the NDP)...

If it is tossed, the Premier, the current govt, high-ranking operatives in the Dion circle-jerk, two former ministers and one radio talk show host will have their then positions revisited (and the coincidence of bolting the govt benches at relatively the same time) and there will be pointed questions to all. Very pointed.

This is the most significant alleged corruption case in B.C. history.

If it were Glen Clark or Bill VanderZalm implicated in this trial, CanWest Global overlord, Dennis Skulsky, who is closerthanthis with the Premier, would have already released the hounds.

Oh, sorry, maybe not...CanWest would have been too busy prostituting their journalistic integrity as "sponsors" of the Olympics.

What a joke!

If you want real free press, read 24hrs. or the Tyee.

Anonymous said...

Well said Alex. However it is important that the public have a say into this important case.

Thankfully, Bill Tileman has done exemplary work exposing the myriad of details behind these applications.

I look forward to Bill Berardino answering questions in the wake of his furthur delay to the SCC.

Mr. Berardino - what happens if the SCC agrees with Chief Justice Finch's decision? Is that when you will end this matter? Why do you need to test the issue with the SCC? Isn't the Appeal Court of BC satisfy you that you have a losing hand?

Perhaps Wally Oppal may have to reexamine the instructions that the Special Prosecutors in this case have recieved.

I also look forward to the publication ban issue tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Read the Tyee? You mean for facts like this:

"Microtek maintains an extensive research network including an alliance with the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia".

What Microtek International doesn't say, but Tyee does, is this:

Tainted Water

"During the spring, large volumes of untreated water laced with fish diseases were travelling from a University of Victoria laboratory used by a private company through the city's sewerage system and into the ocean, a situation that caused alarm among some employees."

Hmmmm Is anyone in Victoria awake, like maybe the Honourable Barry Penner, Minister responsible for the Environment and Wildlife?

Anonymous said...

Paul, you wrote:

"Perhaps Wally Oppal may have to reexamine the instructions that the Special Prosecutors in this case have received."

Special Prosecutors are supposed to be independent, politically untainted in their actions - that is the whole purpose of appointing a SP in cases where politicians and high level govt. officials are involved . . . in the light of day . . . are they really independent of influence, particularly when political linkages exists as with SP Bill to former AG Geoff P.

The Asst. Dep. AG, Criminal Justice Branch is responsible for the appointment of SP. and instructions forthwith.

However, his boss is Dep. AG Allan Seckel, who Prem. Campbell requested 'vet' the highly political docs in this case, with George Copely another Campbell recruit also in the mix representing the Executive Branch of the Govt (read: Premier's Office, Cabinet . . )

Dep AG Seckel's boss is AG Wally . . . how much pressure is applied on the Dep. AG Gillan re: his decisions, in this circumstance, when a ton of political ramifications are at stake?