Monday, October 20, 2008

BASI-VIRK - 3 weeks set aside for pre-trial hearing on disclosure of over 400 documents that are still disputed evidence

Justice Elizabeth Bennett has set aside three weeks of BC Supreme Court time starting November 24 to deal with a pre-trial hearing on disputed disclosure of evidence in the BC Legislature Raid case.

Bennett heard from the Special Prosecutors Janet Winteringham and Bill Berardino that they have worked with defence lawyers for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi - all charged with corruption counts - to reduce the number of disputed documents where disclosure will be contested in court.

"Of 1500 documents we're down to just over 400 to be litigated," Winteringham told Bennett.

Bennett told both sides she wants the disclosure phase finished soon.

"I want to have all of these disclosure issues resolved by the end of the year so we can deal with motions in January," Bennett said.

But Michael Bolton, representing David Basi, said there still may be problems.

"We have a concern with the level of compliance with the June 2007 disclosure order," Bolton said, referring to Bennett's ruling that forced additional disclosure of evidence to the defence.

"One issue is RCMP emails," Bolton said, adding that the defence had received 500 emails from one RCMP officer but none from others.

Bennett also asked both the defence and Crown to consider if the actual trial can begin before the issue of how a secret witness will testify is resolved by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Berardino is seeking leave to appeal a decision by Bennett that defence lawyers could be present to hear arguments about keeping the identity of one witness secret. Berardino's appeal to the BC Court of Appeal earlier this year failed but he has applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to have Canada's highest court hear the issue and potentially overturn Bennett's decision.

"Let me pose this question - whether we can start the trial if the Supreme Court of Canada grants leave [to appeal] or denies leave to appeal," Bennett said. "I'll leave that with you for now."

Another update hearing will take place on November 19 at 9:15 a.m.


Anonymous said...

500 email from one officer that were just disclosed??

Why can't they just disclose the material and get on with it??

It is very clear that the Judge is putting everyone on notice that the Appeal to the SCC is the end of the line for this train that has been derailed by simple, basic disclosure.

BC Mary said...

Thanks to Bill for this report from Courtroom 67.

What a dignified, formal display of cold, calculated judicial indifference to the feelings of the public, to the concept of justice, and to the needs of the accused?!

This whole 4-1/2 year charade should be embarrassing the heck out of every well-paid non-performer in that courtroom.

The judge and 9 lawyers will keep doing this, I suppose, until the case is thrown out ... until the whole lot of them can go to Maui and celebrate ... and until the taxpayers of BC are left paying the full whopping cost of this legal outrage.

I keep expecting to hear a sepulchral voice saying "Yeah. So long, suckers!"

Nobody so far has suggested that this would be truly upsetting either to the Crown, the Accused, the Defence, to Gordon Campbell, or to the Campbell Cabinet past or present.

Could this whole Gong Show have been set up to draw an impenetrable curtain across the actual agreement for the critical 5-year period ... deliberately shielding the still-secret agreement by which CN took over BC Rail ... and the major real estate benefits which will transfer priceless BCR real estate to CN @ $1 apiece on the 5th anniversary (July 12, 2009)?

What a Gong Show. And we sit quietly. Sheeeesh.


Anonymous said...

Mary, send your outrage to the Special Prosecutor who has failed the public.

Comapare his handling of this case to that of other Special Prosecutors. Quite hard to find a more disastrous prosecution in history.

I think that there is a consensus amongst the legal community that Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino is waiting for the SCC to help him pull the plug on this comatose patient.

BC Mary said...

Anonymous 2:24,

Maybe the Special Prosecutor didn't exactly ram a pillow into the face of the comatose patient and then sit on the pillow.

But the Spec Pros certainly isn't the guy who is administering CPR either. In fact ... dare I say it? ... I think the whole lot of them would like nothing better than to see the patient drop dead.

So Spec Proc isn't the guy to help us out.

Just who can help us out by activating this bunch, I haven't quite figured out yet ... unless, of course, it's the formidable, legendary General Public.

On the other hand, isn't there some kind of Ombud or Officer of the Court who watches over things? Like, as Koot was saying, if we actually put Gordon Campbell on trial and delayed disclosure for at least 10 years ... incarcerating him in a tent in Beacon Hill Park ... wouldn't there be some Great Lord Pooh-Bah of the Supreme Court brandishing his ceremonial sword and saying "Tut tut!" to that? Betcha there is.

So let's you write to him, 2:24. It's a great idea. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I think that Len Krog said it best.

Bill Berardino needs to get out of his office and into the court room.

Anonymous said...

Back in 2004, I told Bill that nobody on any of the sides wanted Basigate to ever happen, and in one way or another this "incident" will ultimately self-destruct.

There is far too much money and career damage at stake for the Federal and Provincial Liberals to ever let the facts come out.

So a true in-house Canadian solution had to happen and what we have now is just that smell.

Think of this as if . . . the Promotor of a Boxing Match pays both Boxers to take a dive at exactly the same time in the same fight.

Since nobody can win, then nobody is a loser, except for as usual the public.

Apply this political reality to the systemic-corruption that is Canada's legal system and the ultimate disappearence of Basigate will happen.

Remember, "We Only Cheat When We Can't Win"


Anonymous said...

According to public records Bernardino earned close to $1 million last year. And that's only what was recorded.

Meanwhile CN is defying the rules on length of trains crossing the mountain ranges in BC. Saw an extraordinary long one pass by in Hope. The ones chugging into DeltaPort go on and on and on. They have no concern about safety which is why there have been so many accidents and deaths. Can anyone do anything about that?

Watch for Gordo to head for the Caymans and join others with ill-gotten gains, such as that lawyer arrested recently, who once out on bail, loudly proclaimed his innocence to the unbiased Vancouver Sun.

Anonymous said...


I think it is now appropriate that I remind your readers what I noted on your last post on this matter and then add to it the timeframe that the Premier hopes to use so it “all goes quietly away”.

Quoting from the previous note to you, I noted:

“Anon 10:34 a.m. you raise a number of good questions.

To understand what is happening you have to realize that this Special Prosecutor (SP) is not acting independently from the Premier. As such, the Premier’s “cover up” strategy as enacted through the SP is three pronged.

1. As opposed to the SP’s stated intention to release the government documents including “innocence at stake because the fix was in” document to the defense, the Premier’s real intention is to have them never see “the light of day”. Accordingly, the SP will attach conditions on the release of the documents that the defense can’t agree to. It will then be up to the courts to decide as the SP will then take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

2. However, before it gets that far the “secret witness” appeal will have been rejected by the Supreme Court so as to give the SP the excuse he will use to drop the case. Here it is important to remember that there is no secret witness and that the real reason this appeal is going forward is that the Premier through the SP does not want to release the RCMP “tailored and targeted to protect the Premier smoking gun” documents to the defense – to ensure that these documents also never see “the light of day”.

3. Finally, the “Government” will then offer the accused an extremely large monetary settlement to avoid civil litigation and as such, a new fight by the plaintiffs to see the government “innocence at stake because the fix was in” and the RCMP “tailored and targeted to protect the Premier smoking gun” documents. However, there will be conditions on the money including that the plaintiffs accept a “gag” order so as to ensure that it “all goes quietly away”.” (End of Quote)

As to the Premier’s hoped for timeframe:

• Berardino’s job right now is to stall by refusing disclose all relevant documents to the accused until the election in May 2009…by that time the Supreme Court should have ruled on his ludicrous (from a legal justice perspective) “fake” witness gambit;
• then with the NDP in the midst of a leadership race and everyone on vacation in July and August 2009 Berardino will drop the charges against the accused using the excuse that he must protect the “secret” witness because the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against him …advantageous dates would be July 2nd, 3rd & 31st 2009;
• then, of course, the civil suit would begin which would be the Premier’s “before the courts” excuse to avoid a public inquiry; and finally
• and before the Premier and his co-defendents are forced to testify (and ideally at or around the time of the 2010 Olympics) the Premier through the Government’s legal counsel will offer the plaintiffs an extremely large monetary settlement with the caveat that they must not reveal to the public what they know…and so it “all goes quietly away”.

Or, if all else fails and the Premier is forced because of public outrage to convene a “public inquiry” then and as Sean Holman on May 10th, 2006:

“Last month, the Campbell administration introduced it's controversial Public Inquiry Act. Under that legislation, "a public inquiry commission will not be able to issue its report to any person other than the minister, and Cabinet will have the power to decide when and if a report from a public inquiry will be released" - according to scathing news release from the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. The government has since quietly proposed amendments meant to address that criticism. But some are now speculating that the Liberals may not go ahead with that legislation.”

Anonymous said...

It is not only your right, but your responsibility to hold these people accountable.

Anonymous said...

Milking the cow?At the expense of public interest.?