Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Defence ordered by BC Supreme Court to return all Basi-Virk disclosed evidence to police for destruction

David Basi & lawyer Michael Bolton outside BC Supreme Court

Defence lawyers ordered by BC Supreme Court to return Basi-Virk evidence for destruction


More than one million pages of Crown evidence disclosed to defence lawyers for convicted former B.C. government ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk has been ordered returned to police for destruction.

Basi and Virk had been attempting to retain the evidence related to their disclosing confidential government documents before the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail in 2003 to lobbyists for a losing bidder.

UPDATE - JUDGEMENT NOW RELEASED SEE LINK - But Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie ruled in a decision released Tuesday that documents disclosed – including RCMP files, B.C. Liberal MLA emails and cabinet meeting information – must be returned by defence lawyers to police or the Special Prosecutor for destruction.

Basi’s lawyer Michael Bolton said in an interview with 24 hours Tuesday afternoon that the public will likely never now see the evidence in a political corruption case that exploded with an unprecedented raid on the B.C. Legislature on December 28, 2003.

“I think it forecloses any public disclosure of these documents, short of an application to the judge,” Bolton said.

When asked if he and his client will turn over the documents, Bolton answered: “Absolutely – everyone must comply with the order.”

But Bolton said if a public inquiry were to be called by the government, the material would be made available to a Commissioner.

“If there were a public inquiry that would be a different ball game,” he said. Bolton added that no one, including media outlets, was restricted for applying to obtain the evidence disclosed to the defence.

B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark has to date rejected all calls for such an inquiry.

In an exclusive interview with 24 hours in November, 2010 Superintendent Kevin deBruyckere said allegations by a Basi supporter that the RCMP wanted to get back information disclosed in order to make it disappear were false.

“It’s nonsense. It’s just ridiculous,” de Bruyckere said at the time. “The Crown discloses material and at the end of the trial recovers that material.”

“There’s lots of material given through disclosure to these guys that they have no right to have,” he said.

In the November interview deBruyckere said that if a public inquiry was called the government and police documents will still be available.

“The disclosure material stays on our file for the legislated retention period, which in this case is at least 10 to 12 years, before any consideration is given to destruction of records,” he said.

Bolton said Tuesday that he can “only go by what police have said previously” about retaining the evidence for an inquiry.

Basi and Virk made surprise guilty please in October, 2010 to breach of trust and fraud for giving lobbyists confidential government documents on the sale in exchange for money and other benefits.  They received sentences of two years less a day house arrest and the Crown declined to demand the repayment of $6 million in legal fees paid to their lawyer over the multi-year pre-trial hearings and trial, which was cancelled after hearing from only two witnesses.

Thousands of pages of police interviews, intercepted phone calls and other evidence detail Basi and Virk’s efforts but RCMP investigators say no elected officials were involved.

However, some of the documents raise significant questions about whether there was a cabinet leak to lobbyists Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran, who both became Crown witnesses and were never charged by police.  The defence theory alleged that a cabinet minister may have provided information separate from documents Basi and Virk admitted passing on to lobbyists.

A version of this story was prepared for 24 hours Vancouver newspaper online.


Anonymous said...

Is the decision by Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie available online?

Bill Tieleman said...

Not online yet.

Anonymous said...

So we should trust the rcmp to preserve protect and defend the documents. Okay, whatever. Thats like giving the fox the key to the henhouse. The material is gone, it will never see the light of day unless the media applies for it.

Anonymous said...

“If there were a public inquiry that would be a different ball game,” he said. Bolton added that no one, including media outlets, was restricted for applying to obtain the evidence disclosed to the defence.

So now is the time for the NDP to apply.

Anonymous said...

For goodness sakes , apply now Bill.
You have fought the good fight, keep it going.

Skookum1 said...

Can't this go to the Court of Appeal? And failing that, to the Supreme Court of Canada?

ACJ Mackenzie's "parachuting" into the case, and her elevation to ACJ, look more like a hatchetjob than even before.....

Anonymous said...

Where is the NDP on this issue? Why haven't they been in court demanding public transparency over these docs?

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to "Jake"

Anonymous said...

The NDP is busy doing an enquiry on candidate Facebook accounts....save for one candidate that is....

Outsourced again said...

I remember a case where a person charged with an income tax crime was ordered to provide the relevant documents to an appropriate government office. He loaded boxes of evidence into his car and drove it to the government office. Unfortunately, on the way the car was broken into when the man stopped at a coffee shop. Everything was stolen. I forget what happened to the case, but the government had no documents to proceed with. I don't know why I thought of that occurrence. I guess it was just after I thought of wikileaks again.

Leah said...

So, we're to trust the RCMP not to destroy the documents according to the lead investigator of the BC Rail trial...Right!

Is that rather like we're supposed to believe that MacKenzie wasn't put there to do the job she did? That Bennett was so inept she had to be removed - publicly, and rather embarrassingly to my way of thinking.

Something stinks! March 5th - Judge orders return of all documents for destruction.
March 13th - BC's top cop and overseer of the BC Rail trial decides to retire. (Gary Bass)
March 15th - Campbell finally steps down.

What were they waiting for? MacKenzie to show them the job was done? All's well that ends well?

Well...it ain't done! As a matter of fact, now more than a few of us are getting damn mad! It's one thing to be ripped off by one's government - it's another thing entirely to see our Justice system raped, and laid to waste like a common trollop. This is NOT over.

Anonymous said...

Well we know, Christy and her brother Bruce, were involved in, Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR. Of course, Campbell is fighting tooth and nail, to stay out of prison.

This sinks the BC Liberals. BC citizens already, didn't trust Christy Clark, now she has betrayed the citizens trust, exactly the same way Campbell did. BC citizens, are not going to forget this dirty tactic. I don't know if, we are living in a fascist regime, or a communist regime. But, we certainly live in a dictatorship. Campbell is a criminal, and belongs in prison, as do, everyone else involved in that crime.

Campbell is corrupt. The judicial system is corrupt. So are the RCMP, they have established themselves, pro Campbell every inch of the way. Of course, we can't trust the RCMP. Look at their crimes, that our corrupt judicial system, swept under the carpet for them. Elections BC is corrupt. The FOI is tampered with. The media, is Campbell's propaganda machine.

Don't even think Campbell is leaving. He will be steering Christy from the back bench. That, we can already see. Nothing will change. Christy is just as corrupt as Campbell is. Dirty tactics, have already started in Christy's sick regime. The judicial system, has shown their dirty hands and faces, yet again. Same old, same old, BC Liberal crap.

We BC citizens, must never, never allow the corrupt, evil BC Liberals to govern our province, ever again. Is BC fated to be, forever governed by criminals?

Anonymous said...

So we're back to this now?

Where are the stories and blogging about the NDP Leadership??

Seems alot of blog space here was devoted to the BC Liberal Leadership, and very little for the NDP one.

The NDP is around 30 days out from the end of it and there has to be stories or things happening.

Or is the NDP leadership boring?

Perhaps Bill can explain why Adrian seems to be the only one with tax and spend policies??

Mike Farnworth for leader!

Anonymous said...

Please someone with that info, copy it, keep it. Be willing to face jail for disobeying a court order that is not in the public interest. One day the time will be right and we will need it. The RCMP are not keeping it. Look at all the evidence that had already been ordered destroyed by Campbell et al! Citizens who have access, who are being asked to help these criminals hide their crimes need to do what they can to preserve the documentation for that time when it will surely be needed.

Or wikileaks.

Anonymous said...

Came across some old news yesterday while searching wrongful dismissal - another big payout by Gordo's government to shut someone up. I'm sure BC Mary reported on it when it happened but it made me think of all the wrongful dismissal and other law suits that surround the leg raids and BC Rail. I wonder how much the public has paid for settlements and legal fees connected to this dirty, deceitful buisness. And Ms. Clark doesn't want a public enquiry. Of course not!

A brief reminder of Dalstrom: a veteran VPD investigator, working on "project phoenix" - yes THAT project phoenix. He was gotten rid of and so sued for wrongful dismissal. He got - wait for it - a 2 MILLION dollar out of court settlement! The explanation was that VPD was having some sort of "turf war" with the RCMP and duking it out with Dalstrom in court might jeopardize the investigation. RIIIGGHHHT. The investigation nobody was ever prosecuted for. RIIIIIIGGGHHHT.

"The Province contributed $550,000 to the settlement; the OCABC paid $750,000 plus the salary and benefits portions." 2 MILLION for a guy with a salary around $100 thou a year!!! Wow. I want that kinda severance!

So 2MILL for Dalstrom, 6 MILLION & counting to scumbags Basi & Virk. Wasn't there a Victoria cop too who got screwed over and then a wrongful dismissal suit launched by an exec at BC Rail arguing that he was actually fired for refusing to cooperate with the board's plan to run BC Rail into the ground?

Full article on Dalstrom is here:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting last night as I was watching Knowledge Network,(B.C. Public Television) I was wondering about such an odd, apparent connection between the Daniel Ellsberg decision to release The Pentagon Papers in the 1970's in the United States and the situation that is presently before the people in the province of B.C. since 2003 to 2011.

This program discussed;Information hidden from the general public, some individuals that hold onto conscience instead of "going along with the official message" and on the other side those who put career ahead of conscience and buy the lie.
I was particularly taken with the integrity of The New York Times, The Washington Post and 15 other newspapers from one side of the continent to the other. These newspapers published the leaked information that revealed the clandestine planning around the war in Vietnam.
I was amazed as well in the one individual congressman who did a filibuster marathon of 1 person reading the papers aloud into the congress record.He just kept reading it aloud...
Integrity and bravery to be admired.
I hadn't realized until recently how fragile are the democratic freedoms of the average person.
Thank-you, Knowledge Network for this wonderful documentary aired on Tues. March 15th,2011. I was glad to see that Daniel (in the lion's den) Ellsberg and his supporters put this fine piece of journalism into the public domain as record. To be sure (as the credits at the end reveal) he had funding from supporter individuals and supporter foundations who believe in the right of the public to know what elected representatives are doing.

It seems to me that this story in B.C. is also worthy of documentation,in some way or another and should be available for attention around the province much like the Fight HST movement made the COMPLETE STORY available to the population of the province. Too many questions still no answers.

Anonymous said...

Can't this go to the Court of Appeal? And failing that, to the Supreme Court of Canada?

It can. But you have to get your lawyer to file yourself (on behalf of "The People of British Columbia").

You pay the fees.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out. Be sure to make it something on the 6 PM news so we can see you.

Anonymous said...

We BC citizens, must never, never allow the corrupt, evil BC Liberals to govern our province, ever again. Is BC fated to be, forever governed by criminals?

Are there "criminals" in the NDP?

Sure there are. According to those who don't like the NDP..

just as there are "criminals" in the BC Liberal Caucus according to those who don't like the BC Liberals.

Anonymous said...

The decision by Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie is now available.

Citation: R. v. Basi, 2011 BCSC 314
Date: 20110315
Docket: 23299
Registry: Vancouver


Anonymous said...

I've now have had time to read the MacKenzie decision .. all I can say is WOW ... what a twisted piece of tortured logic that is ... in MacKenzie's defense: I am not a lawyer, but having been a skier for more than 30 years I know a good snow job when I see one.

Any lawyers out there care to share their thoughts (anonymously of course)?

Anonymous said...

b"ut having been a skier for more than 30 years I know a good snow job when I see one."

Big difference between being a skier and being a lawyer.Oddly bloggers here were happy with the court system when things went the way they wanted, but never like the justice system when things don't go their way.

Not odd after all.

Outsourced again said...

Anonymous said...
Oddly bloggers here were happy with the court system when things went the way they wanted, but never like the justice system when things don't go their way.

10:53 AM PDT

Its not odd at all. All I want, and can't seem to get. is an open and honest system. The far-right don't believe in government, good or bad. They want to do away with government, regulations, etc., in favour of a "free market". (The only free market I know of is in Haiti and look what that has given them.) The far-right entered politics with a vengeance to get rid of government. Look at Reagan, Thatcher, Bush and yes good old evangelical Harper. They want to reduce the size of government and to give big tax breaks to the rich.

I and maybe "we" want a fair deal - let the courts let the people see those BC Rail docs. What's so scary? Let me tell you what keeps democracy alive is openness. Let us see the docs. Anyone with an ounce of conscience would make sure those docs see the light of day no matter what. I can see all kinds of ways of doing that without falling into contempt of court. Mistakes happen every day. If we can't rely on the courts or the police then good people have to help justice along. The big entertainment companies that had the right to those docs did us all a big disservice. But they are entertainment companies and the ownership of those companies are concentrated in the hands of one family. As someone said, freedom of the press is guaranteed only if you own one.

The Harper regime is bound and determined to spend us into debt so that no one can govern or provide us with essential services. They give tax breaks to the rich and buy ridiculously expensive airplanes. For what purpose - to ruin government. Its the Harper government after all!

So its not odd. We cheer good judgements and bemoan bad ones. Its not partisan to want justice. But I'm not afraid to be partisan because the choices are clear - Christy and her style of "openness" and a BC Rail Inquiry to start with. Let's clean house Christy and what about one in five kids in poverty in BC. Oh, yeah, I know - they shouldn't have had kids. Yes, let's increase immigration. That will make the right wing happy (irony here).