Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BASI-VIRK - defences spars with judge over timing of application to throw out case, seeks info connected to secret witness

Defence lawyers and BC Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie sparred Tuesday over an application to have corruption charges against three former BC Liberal government aides thrown out due to delay of the trial.

UPDATE - The Vancouver Sun's Neal Hall reports from BC Supreme Court Wednesday that defence lawyers are claiming a deal between the Crown and key witness Erik Bornmann breaches the constitutional rights of the three accused former aides. The Province's Keith Fraser has also filed an online story. I am unable to attend today's hearing but you can find more at the links to Neal and Keith's stories above or at The Legislature Raids.

And the defence also sought additional information connected to the secret witness whose identity will be protected thanks to a Supreme Court of Canada decision last week.

Adding to a busy but confusing day was the appearance of David Basi in person at another hearing in BC Supreme Court on separate fraud charges regarding allegations of influence peddling in a decision by the Agricultural Land Commission to remove land for a development near Sooke on Vancouver Island.

Both Kevin McCullough, representing Bob Virk, and Joe Doyle, representing Aneal Basi, clashed with MacKenzie over the impending Section 11B Charter of Rights application that could end the case because accused persons are guaranteed a trial without unreasonable delay. The charges were laid in 2004 after a December 2003 raid on the BC Legislature to gather evidence.

"Really, where we are is two years back," Doyle told MacKenzie, referring to the fact that the trial was sidetracked when Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino appealed two lower court decision regarding a secret witness all the way to the top court in Canada.

But MacKenzie wasn't sympathetic to the defence.

"People are entitled to litigate, people are entitled to make assertions," MacKenzie replied.

"The Crown was ready then, they were going to call a police officer to testify for an hour on why an informant should remain secret," Doyle said.

The defence also served notice it wants up to 373 police "source witness debriefing notes", having already received 21 that involve David Basi.

Berardino told the court that: "The Crown has disclosed to the defence those notes related to the credibility of the three persons involved in the 21 source witness briefing notes related to Mr. Basi.

Berardino suggested that the defence Section 11B delay of trial application could be filed December 3 and argued December 14.

Outside the courtroom Michael Bolton, representing Basi in the B.C. Legislature raid case, explained that the defence will file two separate applications that could lead to the matter not going to trial.

"Trial delay is different from abuse of process," Bolton explained. "That's a discrete motion to do with the deal the Crown made with witness Erik Bornmann."

Bolton also said it is possible the defence may ask for a jury trial, instead of the current plan to try the case with a judge only.

Meanwhile, Basi reportedly arrived at BC Supreme Court at 9 a.m. to make an appearance himself on the Agricultural Land Commission case because he has yet to retain a lawyer on those charges.

The hearing is expected to continue Wednesday and on Thursday a pre-trial conference will take place to discuss disclosure of Executive Branch evidence with provincial government lawyer George Copley in attendance.



Anonymous said...

The deal with Bornmann smells similar to the style of the southern United States stench of justice or racism ...

take your pick.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the defence has almost emptied their bag of tricks and slowly justice will soon be served. Good to hear that the new judge is not buying into the defence BS. I cannot wait until this case moves on to a full trial.

Anonymous said...

For many years we've heard an earful about 'the greater good.' Not only to Basi abd Virk deserve their day in court, they owe British Columbians a chance to learn the truth.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if the "truth" of BASIGATE will ever be in the public domain because too many powerful current & past federal/provincial Grits have Basi-Virk "DNA" in their wallets.

The terms and protocols of the actual trial limit the Crown's legal scope to a "Coles Notes" version of the Encyclopedia Britanica.

For the insiders and true followers of this story since 1997, not 2003, "the truth" has long been known, but to report on it would leave any of them open to severe civil and criminal legal counter-measures.

Basigate constitutes only ONE part of a large scale economic and political assault on society in BC by too many self-declared celebs and beautiful people to ever be made public.

Another factor in the delay of justice is that a number of BC's media are themselves compromised by the trial; and stand to lose their careers, or worse, if the whole story or certain evidence ever came out at trial.

This worse case scenario for the media and the celebs would be an angry and betrayed Basi & Virk spilling all the dirt during or after the Coles-Notes-Trial, and that excrement would certainly flow uphill to the highest levels of our "Free Press" and government.

Therefore, not only do I not believe that any substance will come out of this trial but also that Basi-Virk and company will ultimately get off on a mutally agreed all-party technicality.

Thus, the truth of Basigate will be for historians to discover fifty years from now.


Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:05

Its coming alright. Make sure you have your spin lines ready to go from your friends in PAB when the facts come out. I've never heard of a defence team wanting to postpone their delay application. Any credible defence lawyer with half a brain will tell you thats a common defence tactic to delay things and drag it out.

Can't wait! I wonder how the "blabby deputy minister" is feeling these days??

Anonymous said...

Continuation of this case is only a formality. The case was dead from the beginning, because of the fascistic concealment practices by the most reactionary government in Canadian history.

This is what is going to happen: immediately before Christmas, Defence will plead a "Carosela" motion, claiming that answer-in-defence is fatally flawed by state concealment. Crown attornies will mouth counter argumennt, but: the judge will do what has been inevitable for 6 years and toss the case.

Don't think for one second that the BC courts system delivers anything approaching Justice. And I am aware that right wing elements in the NDP, like Farnsworth and Krog love the status quo. Party members didn't act like Socred-appendages when Dave Barrett was around.

Anonymous said...

I just read Gary Mason's ideas about where the BCNDP should be headed.

I don't like it one bit. Mason seems to think that the BCNDP ought to "get with the program" and be more like the BCLiberals!!!???

I for one am not one bit interested in moving anywhere near the shameless corruption of Campbell and his ilk!

Here is hoping for populism!

Anonymous said...

Break through today at BC Supreme court of BC, Court room 43 aka Basi/Virk/Basi

There were more citizen journalists than Press journalists in the public gallery.

The odd man out in the public gallery was a uniformed RCMP officer sitting in the back row. No one knows if the officer was there to keep an eye on the public gallery or the Courts or both. though.

Anonymous said...

All I want for Christmas is a little truth, integrity and equality with my justice.