Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Basi-Virk - Now we have word on Supreme Court of Canada secret witness appeal

UPDATE - Since this item was posted late last night, the Globe and Mail has posted and printed a full story from Bill Curry in Ottawa, who covered the hearing a the Supreme Court of Canada. My thanks to Gary Mason of the Globe here in BC for letting me know.

Here's the beginning of the Globe story:

"OTTAWA -- The defence in the BC Rail political corruption trial will centre on accusations the RCMP tainted its case through inappropriate political calculations and sacrificed the facts in an effort to spin the media, according to factums filed in the Supreme Court of Canada.

The defence will also question the personal and political relationships among elected officials, high-level bureaucrats, lobbyists, political-party operatives and RCMP investigators.

The factums provide the latest synopsis of the defence's plans in the long-delayed criminal case against Dave Basi and Bob Virk, two former ministerial aides in the B.C. Liberal government.

The two men are accused of corruption, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering in relation to the 2004 privatization of BC Rail. Aneal Basi, a former government communications officer and Dave Basi's cousin, faces charges of money laundering." The Globe story continues here.

Earlier post here:

I have tried and failed to find a single media report on Wednesday's Supreme Court of Canada session where Basi-Virk case Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino was appealing two BC lower court rulings on the secret witness issue.

I will continue to scour the news and make some inquiries on Thursday and let you know what - if anything - I have found out.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

CPAC's site is offline. However, a matter of law might not have been broadcast.

One thing: Bev McLachlin should have recused because most of the government friendly SCBC rules can be attributed to McLachlin. She had a mediocre litigation career. She advanced quickly because she was the co-author of a book on Court Rules. While at County Court/Supreme Court, she made the recommendation for establishing the notorious Rule 18, which enables summary judgement applications. Her legacy is: only 425 full trials were allowed in her old stomping ground, and government parties win everything.

Again, for NO good fricking reason, pundits are deluded into thinking that we have to put up with court administration as it stands. You have to think of court administrators as the hired help. You have to want SCBC Chief Justice Don Brenner to earn both the $300,000 per year that we pay him and the $200,000 pension that he will get. Deference in face of what Court Services is doing to this province, is obscene.

Anonymous said...

If a rotting and termite infested BC Grit falls in the forest and no reporters are allowed to cover it . . . Did the scum-bag BC Grit ever fall ?


Anonymous said...

i don't know what that means...

Skookum1 said...

From what I can find out by the link provided by anonymous, judgements has been reserved. I guess that means they don't want to make up their minds, not until a few stiff drinks doesn't say when it's reserved until, but the implication is until after May 12.

Maybe Curry's article in today's Globe and Mail will push this into the national profile, and also raise questions as to why the SCC has reserved judgement, and also incite the necessary speculation as to who the secret witness is. This bit in that article:

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police intervened in favour of the appeal, pointing out that police informants have faced gruesome retribution in incidents where their identity has been revealed."

Sounds like entirely specious logic, unless there are worries that BC political scandal cases may involve threats of personal harm; it would be easy enough for the court to act on the appeal, including a clause stating it cannot be used for precedent in violent crime etc≥ That it's coming from the Canadian Association of Chiefs gives no confidence in the statement at all, given the close ties between the BC Liberals and various policing bodies and individuals. i.e. sounds like a dodge, like so much else.

Does somebody who apparently is invoking cabinet privilege as a way to not publicly testify really have to worry about physical harm? Are they really in the same category as Karbanovec? (the Surrey Six informant)

Using privilege to hide culpability in wrongdoing was not the intent of that constitutional principle. And if there really is the threat of physical harm to the wannabe-secret witness, exactly what kind of case are we REALLY dealing with here?

Deep Throat said...

"Aneal Basi's lawyers, in their factum, question whether the Crown even has a secret informant." (Bill Curry, April 23rd, 2009 G&M.)


As you may recall I commented on your blog in June of last year that:

"There is NO secret witness. This is just a very desperate ruse by the Premier through his foil, Mr. Berardino to bamboozle the defense from seeing a “smoking gun” RCMP document."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I don't think that people realize if Bill Berardino decided to continue with Justice Bennett's ruling of December 2007, the case may have been completed by now.

Think about it. Berardino's appeal has delayed this case 1.5 years and we do not know when a decision is likely from the Supreme Court of Canada.

All Mr. Berardino has done is create more delay that will impact this case.

Norm Farrell said...

The concept of a special prosecutor in BC is nonsense from the start. The provincial government and its crown corps and agencies are the most lucrative clients available to major law firms. Piss off the boys in Victoria and the partners will be riding public transit to the office. Has Berardino and his partners earned fees from the BC Government before now? Do they expect to do so in the future?

Pets are nice if you feed them, allegedly.

Anonymous said...

Strange. CPAC is broadcasting 2 current SCC hearings. They have put up the Kelly Ellard case which ran on April 20. B-V-B was held 2 days later. Yet it isn't up there. Maybe next week, but could CPAC be under Lib pressure to suppress coverage because govt. fiduciaries would be recorded on tape promoting secrecy? Further, the too close relations between policing entities and the Libs would be manifest. I might be wrong, but there is an anomaly here.

Above at 3:48 AM I omitted to mention that the SCBC permitted only 425 trials in 2008. Media has been negligent in seeking reasons why justice is consistently delayed or defeated in this province. That would be the king of all election issues, if someone jumped on it.

Anonymous said...

No secret witness? Claims of same would have to be put on an Affidavit. It is a crime to falsify evidence on an affidavit.

In any case, the constitutional right to answer in defence trumps statutory privileges accorded witnesses. Unless their lives are in danger, they MUST be confronted by the accused, through their attornies.

Most judgments are reserved. The SCC has a 4 month turnaround, except where the Summer break intervenes. However, you need to be aware that SCC judges do NOT write their judgments; that is done, under their broad direction, by youthful clerks. That wasn't widely known in Canada and the US until it was reported that clerks posted claims of authorship of major cases, on their resumes, and law firms had to contact the SCC, which verified same. Nice work if you can get it.