Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Judge orders release of Basi-Virk sealed documents - but only to accredited media; Crown seeks return of disclosure evidence

David Basi and legal counsel Mike Bolton outside court in 2010
UPDATE Thursday morning: clearly CTV News and The Globe and Mail - who applied to have the RCMP documents released - received those documents before anyone else gets them today.

Fair enough - they paid the lawyers' fees to make the application.

I will be attempting as an accredited journalist at BC Supreme Court to obtain copies for 24 hours/The Tyee and this blog and will update you at that time.

Having read both reports, I can't say it's earth shattering news that the RCMP "cleared" Premier Gordon Campbell and ex-Deputy Premier Christy Clark at the time - since the RCMP said no politicians were under investigation.


BC Supreme Court Associated Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie today - Wednesday - ruled that material previously sealed by the court in the BC Legislature Raid case can be released - but only to accredited media, not the public.

The Province newspaper's Keith Fraser reports that MacKenzie made the order and that the material will likely be available Thursday morning.

But defence lawyer Kevin McCullough argued strongly that the public had the right to see several affidavits from the lead RCMP investigator and other material.

And McCullough vigorously opposed a Crown request that all evidence disclosed to the defence be returned, saying former BC Liberal government ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk - McCullough's client - who pled guilty in a suprise plea bargain, want it preserved in case of a public inquiry.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the court hearing due to the illness of my daughter but hope to obtain copies of the material Thursday if possible.

UPDATE - CTV News reports released documents show Christy Clark, Gordon Campbell cleared by RCMP investigators

CTV reporter Jim Beatty says late this afternoon that documents "obtained exclusively" by CTV show "no evidence" was found by RCMP of any wrongdoing by Premier Gordon Campbell or then-Deputy Premier Christy Clark in the BC Legislature Raid case that started in 2003.

Beatty reports that "court documents released Wednesday" in an application filed in BC Supreme Court by CTV and the Globe and Mail show police and Crown evidence revealed nothing linking Campbell or current BC Liberal leadership candidate Clark to crimes committed by Basi and Virk, who pled guilty to breach of trust and fraud in October 2010.

"All along, this has been something that people with a political agenda have been trying to drag me into," Clark said Wednesday told CTV. "Those people have a political agenda; they're not speaking about reality when they throw all this mud."

BC Rail was sold for $1 billion in November 2003 and on December 28, 2003 police made an unprecedented raid on the BC Legislature, taking away boxes of evidence from Basi and Virk's offices.

The home of Clark's brother Bruce Clark was searched by police the same day and a "statement of fact" agreed upon by both the Crown and defence at the trial's conclusion said confidential government information regarding a second planned privatization of other BC Rail assets was found in Bruce Clark's possession - and that it had been provided to him by Basi and Virk.

Clark and then-husband Mark Marissen were visited at their home by police to discuss the case but no search warrant was ever issued and Marissen has repeatedly made clear that full cooperation was provided in the investigation.

Clark's current campaign activists include Patrick Kinsella, who was paid $297,000 by BC Rail to provide "business advice" between 2001 and 2005 and who chaired or co-chaired the 2001 and 2005 BC Liberal election campaigns.




Anonymous said...


Have you seen this?

Gary E said...

So, considering the type of(NON)reporting by the so called accredited media in BC, can we expect that they will report fairly to us all that they will received?

Christy Clark Fan said...

I fully expect some apologies and a sense that its time to move on.

BOTH CTV of Pamela Wallen and Globe & Mail have cleared my gal. Let us let this go and instead focus on reducing child poverty more, growing the economy and saving whatever is left of FOI in BC.

Thank you Bill.

Ron1 said...

The corporate media has cleared the Bc fiberals.

Oh - then it's all right then.

What a surprise.

Crankypants said...

Christy Clark Fan

Neither CTV nor The Globe & Mail have any authority to absolve anyone of any crime. What they have presented is an opinion based on nothing more than a portion of the evidence collected by the RCMP and none of the evidence obtained by the lawyers for Basi and Virk in preparation for their defense.

The real story here is the timing of the release, a mere week and a half before the BC Liberal Party selects Gordo's replacement. One could come to the conclusion that some of those that are backing her campaign may well have something to do with both the FOI and the conclusions brought forth by both Mark Hume and Jim Beattie. This does not pass the smell test.

Anonymous said...

Who trusts the media anymore to tell it all like it is?

E.M said...

I was there, and really really wished Bill was, total fu*(in spin by Media, it is so obvious, Liberals Cleared the best statement I have read is this.

There is NO WAY they could have reviewed those documents from when the Judge said they could have them, approx 11 30 and when the stories were put out at CTV segment at 5pm.

How Do we submit a application fighting that Public means Public NOT just accredited. (not for myself, for other political BLOGGERS, that the MSM scoffed at Us yesterday in Court!!!!

James King said...


Pardon me, but I don't think so.

The CTV material is nothing more than the prosecution's side of this case. The fact is, the defence materials - which may well implicate all kinds of Campbell insiders - formed no part of this document dump.

A point not omitted from the Globe and Mail story this morning - and readily evident for anyone who takes the time to read more than a headline.

Please, make a note of it.

E.M said...

How could CTV exonerate Cristy Clark and the Liberals if the documents are being released this morning.I WAS There.
Globe and Mail
"VANCOUVER — The judge in the Basi-Virk case has ordered the release of material to the news media that has up to this point been sealed by the court.

B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie made the order Wednesday following an application by several news outlets.

The material to be released includes several affidavits by the lead RCMP investigator on the file and comprises four binders.
---I will say I seen something strange, something the accredited |Media would not say, I seen the Judge look out to the Gallery toward the accredited Media, not sure which, and jestured Her head while leaving the Bench, seemed to Me to be saying come on back its ok.

Kim said...

We need to see the documents and the Defence documents!

Anonymous said...

We need to see the documents and the Defence documents!

What for? It's all been said before and time to move on to something new.

Some people jsut won't let go unless the outcome satisfies their expectations.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the fat greek has been exposed for the fraud that he really is. Wonder if he will apologize to Christy ?

Anonymous said...

We in BC have to ask ourselves if we had state media as in Egypt what would be the difference?
Additionally,what would be the difference in judicial systems?


Anonymous said...

"the fat greek" has 'memos to file' signed by Basi and verified by a lawyer.

Christy Clark et al have bot been "cleared" of anything as they were not under investigation in the first place.

There are and will be other ethical issues to be faced.

But one thing these new documents show is: Why did the Liberals pay 6million in fees to the two convicted criminals. Would any employee of any private sector business have such fees paid when guilty? Know of any other case in Canada where a Government employee found guilty had ther fees paid???

Was the pay out a hush fund?

It ain't over until the Fat Greek Sings

Sean in Vancouver said...

Basi and Virk were not government employees; they were employed as political advisors to their minister.

Typically, in our system, we have ministerial assistants who offer "political" advise to a Minister, and deputy ministers who actually head the day-to-day operations of that ministry.

E.M said...

Where is the Judgement online of this Day in Court, The Judge reserved on Anneal Basi's application for keeping the documents to use in a Civil suit for wrongful dismissal, the nerve in My opinion.