Thursday, April 30, 2009

BASI-VIRK - Patrick Kinsella's lawyer, defence fight in court over BC Rail allegations

Sparks fly in court between lawyers for Patrick Kinsella, Basi-Virk defence over BC Rail sale allegations

By Bill Tieleman, 24 hours

A version of this story will be published in 24 hours on Friday May 1, 2009

Sparks flew Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court between a lawyer for B.C. Liberal Party insider Patrick Kinsella and defence lawyers for two ex-B.C. Liberal government aides facing corruption charges over Kinsella’s alleged role in the 2003 sale of B.C. Rail.

Kinsella’s lawyer James Sullivan attacked Kevin McCullough, lawyer for Bob Virk, over allegations about the 2001 and 2005 B.C. Liberal campaign co-chair’s role in the $1 billion privatization of B.C. Rail.

“Mr. McCullough tends to let his imagination run wild and make spurious and unfounded allegations,” Sullivan told Justice Elizabeth Bennett, referring to defence claims in court that Kinsella may have been working for CN Rail as well as B.C. Rail, which paid him $297,000 for “business advice”.

McCullough shot back: “What he has said is wrong and offensive.”

Sullivan has demanded an apology to Kinsella from the New Democratic Party for repeating the allegations, saying his client never met or spoke to Premier Gordon Campbell or his staff about the B.C. Rail sale. NDP leader Carole James refuses to retract the statements.

Bennett also rejected defence allegations that Deputy Attorney General Allan Seckel had “interfered” in the prosecution.

“There’s not a scintilla of evidence that Mr. Seckel has acted improperly,” Bennett said in an oral ruling.

Michael Bolton, lawyer for David Basi, said Kinsella will likely be a witness in the trial.

And McCullough raised concerns about who has seen transcripts of the pre-trial hearings obtained by Sullivan through a transcript company, saying potential witnesses are not supposed to see them.

“It’s a very serious issue. These transcripts were out when they ought not to have been,” McCullough said.

UPDATE May 5, 2009

I would like to clarify some points made in this earlier story.
It should be made clear that the error in providing transcripts to Patrick Kinsella's legal counsel, James Sullivan, was made by the transcribing company.

Justice Bennett had previously issued a Court Direction that transcripts of pre-trial hearings were not to be released without her permission.

Sullivan was unaware of the Court Direction and was not informed by the transcribing company when the order was placed. After learning of the Court Direction on April 27, Sullivan wrote to Justice Bennett requesting her views on how to deal with the situation.

At the court session April 30 Justice Bennett agreed with Sullivan's submission that there was no way he could have known about the Court Direction and agreed he could keep the transcripts.


Anonymous said...

You might care to ask some pointed questions (of Mr Seckel for example) about certain printed materials related to this trial and presented at a legal services branch confab held last week and addressed by, among others, that paragon of (officially retired) legal propriety, George Copley.

Further, you might care to ask Vaughn Palmer why he's chosen NOT TO REPORT the statements the AG made (in public) about his relationship with Judge Bennett...a few weeks ago...The 'justice' community is a very tight and tidy club, remember?

The walls have ears and Wally CAN be very talkative at times!

If you're uncomfortable posting this Bill, I'll understand - in fact, I'd prefer it if you didn't - the facts, nonetheless, are accurate and worthy of pursuing - in my view.

RossK said...

Looks like the wagons, they may be circling up....


What's this about a transcript service giving text of the pre-trial hearings to Mr. Kinsella?

Does this mean that specific matters before the court are actually fully available the public?

Or just selected members?



These printed materials....are they germane to the trial itself and/or the public interest?


Anonymous said...


I have no doubt heard the same issues about the people who are involved from the government side with this case.

However, where does one start with this information? Can you add anything more in terms of details?

I have also heard that the media have been concerned about the letters Kinsella's lawyer sent to the NDP.

DPL said...

always a good show as" My learned friend" guys tangle in court. Sort of reminds me of the tow specialist appearing at the investigation of the Polish fellw at YVY. One says he had no knowledge of multiple tazering, saw no marks, and besides tazering didn't kill him. The other talks about multipile tazering marks and stated the obvious. The man after being tazered once fell to the floor in pain holding onto the are of his chest over his heart. Way off track here, but it seems truth is in the ey of the beholder, and if the beholder is there for money, well who knows who is putting a twist on the issues.Anyone see Kinsella lately?

Skookum1 said...

If they're from a transcript service, that also implies at least one, more like two or three, clerical staff have seen the same material; one to raw-transcribe, another to check, another to approve....some only use single-check but between the tape or source and the final document it's not just the person who got to see it in the end...

Anonymous said...

Ah yes the wagons maybe circling, but then, so did Custer circle his wagons and little help that did him.

The tidal wave of truth is fast overtaking Campbell and his cronies, the trouble is, WHY IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA LARGELY IGNORING THIS?

Eleanor Gregory said...

My understanding is that unless there is a publication ban, transcripts are available for purchase.

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks for your comment Eleanor - Justice Bennett has ordered that no likely witnesses be given copies of the transcripts in order not to possibly influence their testimony. The court was unaware of the transcripts being sent to Sullivan and this is the first time it has been raised in court.

RossK said...

Great, thanks Eleanor.

So, Mr. T...... Given that the rules of engagement were clear...Was there any indication, before today, that PK might be called as witness?


BC Liberals Suck said...

One might also wonder what role Geoffrey Gaul played in any of this? He was appointed Director of Legal Services for the criminal justice branch in Victoria and served in that capacity from 2003 to 2008.

For his duties he was the 4th highest paid Liberal appointee in 2007/08 making $251,817. In February 2008 he was appointed o the Supreme Court of BC to sit in New Westminster. Now, I'm guessing he would have been appointed by Mr. Oppal, who remains Attorney General for a short time more.

Methinks Gaul is a guy who knows where a whole BUNCH of skeletons lie waiting to pop out and one might wonder what role he may have played in keeping them stashed away. I bet he would make a splendid witness in the Basi-Virk trials (criminal, sure to be followed by civil). He's been a faithful servant to his masters and he's been well rewarded for it.

Gaul named B.C. Supreme Court judge

G West said...

Supreme Court judges are Federal appointees....only Provincial Court Judges are appointed by the Provincial Crown - the Lieutenant Governor in Council (ie. the Cabinet) - and they are NOT chosen by the Attorney General.

Judges of the Provincial Court are recommended by the Judicial Council...

kootcoot said...

"Supreme Court judges are Federal appointees....only Provincial Court Judges are appointed by the Provincial Crown I'm confident Stevie would be very co-operative with Gordo's bench requests - even though they aren't the same party (Hah!)! Actually they might as well be the same party, it's just that they both operate under aliases, just not the same one - all the better to confuse the public.

Everything would be clearer to the public if Stevie and Gordo were just honest and called themselves REFORM or CRAP (Canadian Reform Alliance Party) - or the Canadian subsidiary of Bu$hCo!