Monday, September 25, 2006
Knowingly, deliberately kept in the dark
They gathered in B.C. Supreme Court: Basi, Basi, Virk, their lawyers, and the Special Prosecutor (on behalf of the people of B.C.) for a significant pre-trial hearing. A CanWest reporter was in the courtroom. Something must have happened, we know not what. The general public heard not a syllable about it.
This Sept. 18 hearing was intended to grapple with evidentiary readiness. At least, we think so. That's what the Attorney-General's office told me. But we don't really know because the event was knowingly and deliberately not reported in British Columbia's news media.
This was the hearing which would have -- should have -- told Canada that "We're finally ready to take Basi, Virk, and Basi to trial!" Either that, or they aren't ready. We simply don't know ... not even now, a week after the pre-trial decision.
Sept. 18 and 19, I searched every newspaper as well as CBC News and CKNW for this information, and found nothing, although this is a trial which could shake the very foundations of our governments.
That's why I e.mailed the Times Colonist. You saw the response kindly sent by the Editor-in-Chief confirming the hearing but providing no details. Why on earth not? Why not inform the people?
Either the defence and prosecution have gathered all the evidence they need and are ready to proceed to trial; or they still don't have all the evidence they need, and they requested a further delay. Which is it?
British Columbians have a need and a right to know 1) what is the trial date; or, 2) if delayed, until what date?
Unbelievably, we do not know at this point whether the Trial of the Century is on, or off, or sent to Syria via New York and Jordan. The entire B.C. Legislature remains under a cloud. We desperately need to clear the air.
In a Theocracy or a Dictatorship, such things might happen. But not in a Parliamentary Democracy. Not in Canada. Surely not.
Yet when the cops showed up on the Clarkes' house, lo and behold a media crew just happened to be passing by. How fortunate for the media that withut any advanced notice they just happeded to be in the right place to attempt to cut down the Premier,
Don't forget that these people (the mainstream media) are profit-driven. Their main goal is to maximize revenue. If they decide that devoting space to the holding-over of a trial (if, indeed, that's what happened) that most people have forgotten is going to bore people, then they won't run it. They'll drop in a short piece about a voyeur in a women's washroom instead (as CBC did this morning).
Sure, they *should* run it, if the goal is keeping the people informed, but that's not the goal. And you don't have to subscribe to any conspiracy theory about the goal being to misinform or to help people to forget, in order to believe that.
Maybe there's more to it when you get to the Can-West corporate offices, or to the Asper family itself, but on this level? I don't think so. I think the editors and publishers are picked on the basis of general agreement with the conservative, mainstream bent, and the ability to watch and maximize the bottom line.
"drugs, money-laundering, and organized crime, two privatization deals worth more than $1 billion, and allegations of breach of trust and fraud by top provincial government officials who have extensive connections with the federal Liberal party and the campaign to make Paul Martin leader and prime minister."
doesn't rise to the level of being of "interest? If she would be so kind as to explain I would even BUY that copy of the T-C and force my parrot to degrade his butt for a few days (if I had a parrot).
The surest route is to telephone the Attorney-General's office. Go through "Enquiry BC" (Blue pages) and they'll connect you without long distance charges. Good person to talk to is Stan Lowe.
I'm outside BC at the moment ... so would love to hear back from you when you find out.
If you are near Victoria, the Trials Co-ordinator told me, by telephone, that there are Public Access Computers in the corridor (2nd floor) of Victoria Court House where, so they said, you just punch in the name and the data comes up on the screen.
I have to say, however, that I surely hadn't seen any such computers when I was tracking around Victoria Court House in June, looking for Courtroom 101 in which Basi et al were listed as appearing but didn't show up either.
I especially wondered about the disabled, the slightly disabled, the handicapped, the poor, the troubled, how do they find out about these Public Access Computers or how to work them?
To correct your assumption: I have never spoken to Wally Oppal. One of my supporters who is gifted in these matters undertook to phone the Attorney-General's office; she recommends speaking to Stan Lowe who, she says, was extremely helpful. But when I was in B.C. during the summer and tried to speak to Stan Lowe, he was off on holidays.
I'd urge you to use the Enquiry BC number, 1-800-663-7867 and ask for the Attorney-General's office. I believe these lines operate at a fixed rate, whether used or not. So why not use it, for a worthy cause. Not using it sends a signal that nobody cares!
In a perfect world, we'd all be following many trials and court decisions, as a means of being better citizens.
They'll even give you Wally Oppal's number, which is 250-387-1866.
Please don't give up. I'd appreciate your support!
One case which must surely have been wound up by now, is the Obstruction of Justice charge against former Constable Ravinder Dosanjh.
Any chance you could check that out?