Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Basi-Virk - nothing again to report - jury to return Wednesday - hopefully

Bill Tieleman surveys the damage after his office was broken into and trashed over his Basi-Virk case coverage in December 2007

Still nothing reportable out of the Basi-Virk/BC Legislature Raid trial yet again today as legal arguments continued in the absence of the jury - and are therefore covered by the publication ban.

The jury is scheduled to return to the courtroom for what should be the remaining testimony of the first witness called - Martyn Brown, Premier Gordon Campbell's Chief of Staff.

The last question asked - but not answered - of Brown was whether he was aware of the brother-in-law relationship between RCMP Inspector and lead investigator Kevin DeBruckyere and Kelly Reichert, BC Liberal Party Executive Director.

But I'll not be there Wednesday - instead I will be helping former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm deliver over 705,000 Fight HST citizens Iniative petitions to Elections BC in Victoria - something very reportable indeed!

The trial is supposed to resume at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, then not return until Monday July 5 at 11:15 a.m. But count on nothing when it comes to schedules in this case!



Anonymous said...

Don't worry Bill. The mainstream media will report on all goings on in the courtroom that the editors will allow.

Skookum1 said...

does make you wonder how the mainstream media would have dealt with things if Justice Bennett had imposed a publication ban on the Glen Clark witchhunt-cum-trial huh?

Bill, I really think Robin Mathews is right - the publication ban doesn't cover EVERYTHING said in the absence of the jury. In fact, it's rather vague in terms of what it DOES cover - vague by way of being over-specific.

I think he's right in saying that not just reporters but also bloggers are interpreting the ban wrongly, and holding their tongues more than they need to.

Clearly you don't want to be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of journalistic openness i.e. by defying the ban and getting saddled with contempt charges. But some reporter, or some blogger, is going to have to do that to force the ban into the laps of the Supreme Court of Canada, and into national attention.

But I do think there's more you could report on than what you think isn't allowed. Even Citizen Journalist in 54's account of expressions, atmosphere, personality is helpful.

Otherwise Berardino can shut down information anytime he wants simply by burping "objection" to get the jury sent from the room.

The solution is to sequester the jury, as in the US, rather than to sequester the whole of the public interest.....

It's not just you; it's Harvey Oberfeld, it's Sean Holman, it's Rafe Mair, it's even Allan Fotheringham. There's journalists in this country and province who SHOULD be contesting this ban, and there would be citizens and organizations to fall in behind them with money for their defence. But nobody's lips, or pens, are moving....why is that?

Are we all so afraid of Justice Mackenzie that she can destroy the essential civil rights of freedom of expression and freedom of information and courts conducted in the public interest by mere whim and a badly-written and badly-conceived publication ban (which neither side had asked for) imposed by a judge who literally came out of nowhere to preside over the most important trial in BC history?

I mean, is it so easy for you to remain silent that you can virtually parrot the MSM's strategy of "nothing to see here, folks, move along, enjoy Canada Day, nothing important going on here"....

Somewhere out there there's a journalist ready to stand up to the court of misrule that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has become.

The ban must be struck down. Or taken down by sheer moral force.

The East Germans, Poles and Czechs did it. The Portuguese did it. The Filipinos did it. Corrupt regimes can be brought down by truth, if only the journalists and other writers lead the way in making sure that the public is aware of it.

Not cooperating with forces which seek to keep the truth controlled, and only half-told.

Unfortunately there's too much truth in the old saw about the national predisposition for forelock-tugging......

I imagine you might have had some interesting discussions with Bill Vander Zalm about how a publication ban on the Fantasy Gardens/Tan Yu matter might have helped keep him in power.....
Where's Faye Leung when we need her?