Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Hearing confirmed: Monday 30 October.

.
From: BC Mary [bcmary14@rogers.com]
Sent: Thu, October 26, 2006 6:44 PM
To: Bettger, Gail AG:EX, Attorney-General's Office

Hello again, Gail Bettger,

Could you tell me if I'm correct, in expecting Basi, Virk, and Basi to
appear in Vancouver Supreme Court again for pre-trial conference
on Monday, 30 October 2006?

And that this hearing may extend to a full week?

Also, is it possible to confirm that the tentative trial date is still December 4?

BC Mary
*****************************************************************************


Reply to: BC Mary

According to our records, the information you have on the court dates is correct.

However, wehave no idea of knowing how long the hearing will last.


Gail Bettger
Criminal Justice Branch
Headquarters

250-387-5188

*****************************************************************************

,

Comments:
Way to go Mary. Being persistant is one thing, but even better latching on to someone who can tell you what's actually happening is even better. If any of your contacts has the time to sit in, the door is open. If not, well the actual trial will be covered by some media for sure.
 
Speaking of media, I read in the Surrey Now a very interesting piece written by Keith Baldrey.

He raises many points that seem to be missing from this blog - or are purposefully neglected. It can be found at

http://www.thenownewspaper.com/issues06/104106/opinion/104106op1.html


The legislature raid: What now?

Keith Baldrey

As we approach the third-year anniversary of the police raid on the legislature, it's time to step back and ask an important question: What in the heck is happening with this case anyways?

Shortly after the raid occurred in late December 2003, the RCMP held a news conference and grandly and seriously talked about organized crime somehow coming perilously close to the legislature. There was also talk of money laundering and drug trafficking.

But almost three years later, the case has dwindled into an alleged affair of tawdry low-level lobbying.

In any event, it now appears that the trial of three former Liberal government political aides won't even begin until next spring. There is a tentative start date set for early December, but a seemingly endless argument over how much evidence the Crown must disclose to the defence has shackled the process.

In the meantime, some interesting tidbits about the case have emerged and some important questions remain unanswered.

Much of the mystery and intrigue surrounds the Crown's star witness, Erik Bornman. A former lobbyist and federal Liberal activist, Bornman amounts to almost the entire case against the three provincial Liberal government workers (Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi).

According to the search warrants that have been unsealed, it is Bornman who is making the allegations of bribery and corruption in regard to the privatization of B.C. Rail. In fact, without Bornman's assertions, it's hard to see much evidence of wrongdoing in this affair.

But the treatment afforded Bornman by the RCMP and, possibly, the special prosecutor, raises important questions.

Bornman has claimed he funnelled money to Dave Basi through Aneal Basi in exchange for information, documents and client referrals and that he gave Dave Basi a "benefit" in violation of the Criminal Code - yet he has not been charged with any crime.

As well, in the middle of the investigation and well after the search warrants containing his allegations were sworn in front of a judge, he was in law school and then became an articling student at a prestigious law firm in Toronto. He also continued to be registered as a government lobbyist in B.C.

But why didn't any official connected with this case contact the Upper Canada Law Society and point out to it that someone about to be called to the bar had claimed to the police that he tried to bribe public officials? And why didn't anyone contact the official registrar of government lobbyists in B.C. and relay the same information?

(In an ironic twist, Bornman was registered in a University of B.C. law class in September 2004 that had as a guest lecturer on one evening the special prosecutor of this case, Bill Berardino, but Berardino says he hasn't actually met Bornman.)

More than two years after the raid, Bornman finally quit the law firm after someone did indeed complain to the Upper Canada Law Society.

Speaking of special prosecutors, did you know Berardino is actually the third one on this case? Two other Vancouver lawyers preceded him - Len Doust and Josiah Wood - but both resigned shortly after getting the file because of possible conflict of interest problems.

Another interesting development: Did you know the RCMP quietly visited federal Liberal party headquarters in B.C. on May 6, 2005, and seized electronic copies of the financial donor list? And in another odd twist, the RCMP officer who is the main investigator in the case once bought a house from the Dave Basi family.

The more I learn about this case, the more I get the impression that what was once painted to be a gigantic criminal conspiracy is actually a lot less than that.

It wouldn't be the first time the police have overreached when they enter the B.C. political scene.


Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.

published on 10/25/2006
 
Sorry the last post was incomplete. Mary, perhaps you can get the entire clip and use it?
By the way here is another piece:

RCMP black eyes need healing

By Keith Baldrey - View from the Ledge

It was once an iconic emblem of Canada's proud heritage, but those days seem very far away for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The RCMP used to be known for its rugged frontier mentality, a dogged determination of always "getting their man," and colourful demonstrations like the Musical Ride. Now, however, the RCMP is becoming synonymous with incompetence, misconduct and an inability to deal with its internal problems.

The list of mistakes and controversies is long, and it seems to be growing at an alarming rate. The latest black eye was the revelation that there have been 81 cases of misconduct by RCMP officers based in B.C. in the past two years. That news came as a result of a freedom of information request by The Vancouver Sun. The cases of misconduct range from falsifying expense claims to having sex with a prostitute. But it's not as if this revelation comes like a bolt from the blue. Public confidence in the RCMP has been seriously shaken by events of the past few years.

Consider these troubling cases:

There is still a lingering stench over the RCMP's handling of the killing of Ian Bush by an RCMP officer in Houston, in northern B.C. The 22-year-old Bush had been arrested for having an open beer and giving police a false name. He was shot once in the back of the head by a rookie police officer, after what the officer said was a violent struggle.

But the internal investigation into that death took six months, and the Crown finally opted not to lay any charges in the matter.

In the meantime, the Bush family is left searching for answers and a public airing of what led to their son's death.

A Prince George RCMP officer was accused of having sex with underage prostitutes, but this month an internal discipline body threw the case out because the internal investigation had taken too long.

Criminal prosecutions in some high-profile cases collapsed because of RCMP errors. Those cases include the murder case of Chinese student Amanda Zhao in Burnaby, the killing of a native chief's son near Kamloops and the sex strangling of young Mindy Tran in Kelowna.

The RCMP launched aggressive investigations of two former B.C. premiers, but both cases ended in acquittals, after judges in both cases made it very clear in their rulings that neither Bill Vander Zalm nor Glen Clark had even come close to committing a crime. Remember the police raid on the legislature back in December 2003? That was part of Operation Everywhichway, the RCMP's giant probe of supposed organized crime. The case likely won't come to trial until next spring, and so far the information coming out of the case - through unsealed search warrants - paints a picture of something allegedly happening that falls far, far short of how the RCMP characterized the case after the raid occurred. Last year, the RCMP's special tactical force performed a dramatic daytime takedown of several natives on a busy Vancouver bridge, seizing more than a dozen rifles and a fair amount of ammunition. It turned out the men had just legally purchased the firearms on behalf of a native youth outdoor training program.

The RCMP has yet to apologize, and still has the weapons.

This week, RCMP Chief Superintendent Dick Bent, the deputy criminal operations officer for B.C., publicly acknowledged the public is losing confidence in the RCMP. He's absolutely right, and admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards solving it.

But based on the events of the past couple of years, solving the RCMP's growing credibility problem will be no easy task.

- Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.

published on 10/20/2006
 
What is with this anti-RCMP stuff? I don't know what has got into Baldrey. I know Baldrey is close to Basi and that he is the only reporter who Basi has granted an interview to in quite some time, but this doesn't explain the second article.
 
Keith, like many BC political reporters, used to get all sorts of story scoops from Dave back when he was still at the legislature. Looks like Dave called in an IOU.
 
Credibility problems, eh? Check out Keith Baldrey's credibility on the sinking of Queen of the North, starting with David Hahn's telephone call to him at 5:00 AM, before Hahn did anything else about the disaster. Hahn was dead sure that Baldrey would want to be at Hahn's side as the disaster unfolded.

Same with The Legislature Raids. I was expecting a media effort something like this, tailored to make light of it ... to shift the blame onto other shoulders ... I hear that's been the subject of discussion in the legislative corridors since they got back to work in January 2004. And Keith Baldrey is the exact go-to guy to start that ball rolling. He's right on cue.

Ask him why he didn't report on 6 May 2006 that the B.C. Liberal Party offices had been visited by the RCMP. But was anything said? No, not a word. So why is he mentioning it -- without detail -- 6 months later, having made no effort to investigate why the police visited the BC Liberals?

And why didn't he ask any of the questions he's tossing around now, about the Law Society and Erik Bornman?

I'll suggest why: because he didn't want to be troubled by finding out the truth. Just toss the mysteriously unanswered questions around ... and dredge up sad but unrelated events ... to create a bad impression about the RCMP.

Ya call that journalism? I call it whitewashing. And I don't much like it.

And I've just seen the other 2 comments saying others don't much like it either. Thanks.
 
You there Mary?

Was the first article in any Island papers?

I'm not sure I follow its logic.
 
for a hilarious take on this whole situation check out the following link at http://somenamedia.blogspot.com/2006/10/bc-legislature-raid-what-now.html
 
Looks like is was put together by none other than Mike Geoghegan, the same guy who organized Basi's news conference in 2004. That'd be the news conference where the RCMP, media, and the rest of the province were accused of being racist.
 
Strange as it is, why are we talking about police buying houses and a witness with a super hero alter ego and not about govenment officals selling influence, the stink of the BC Rail sale, or an organized crime investigation came to include the legislature? I can't help bit that think someone wants to change the topic.
 
jm: As far as I know, Baldrey's #1 piece was aired on Global, that's all ... until this arrived. Jeez, I just read it again and figure I'd best avoid it in future. Look at this:

"Shortly after the raid occurred in late December 2003, the RCMP held a news conference and grandly and seriously talked about organized crime somehow coming perilously close to the legislature. There was also talk of money laundering and drug trafficking."

Look closely and you'll see "Pooh Pooh" and Hyuck Hyuck and "Pay no attention, har har" writ large between the lines.

Logic? He's shilling, that's where the logic is. Check out his Spiderman Song too (on Anon, above).

"Grandly and seriously" eh. "Shortly after the raid" eh (it was the next day, Bald-Boy, 29 Dec. 2003). "Organized crime ha ha SOMEHOW coming PERILOUSLY close to the legislature" eh.

Some journalist. I bet if the Legislature was on fire, Bald-Boy would be hard pressed to shout an honest comment like "Fire!"
 
What is Mike Geoghegan's connection to Dave Basi anyway?
 
Bill Tieleman broke the story about the RCMP visit to the liberal party and Bornman resigning from a law firm in Toronto.

I highly doubt that anyone want's to associate with Basi. Let alone believe what he says.

Keith is just rewriting Bill's stuff and he should stop plagerizing!!
 
Anon: Mike Geohegan seems to be a lobbyist (Michael Geohegan Consultant) who is a kind of Keith Baldrey for whatever line of endeavour you might want to hire a bootlicker for. So they probably polished each other's apples in the good ol' days.

... don't know if this is a serious comment or not, but found it on Public Eye On-Line:

Is Mike Geoghegan really a Dave Basi devotee? I knew he had made a couple of perfunctory apologies on Basi's behalf a couple of years ago when this thing first came in over the forecastle, but I didn't realize he was operating under Basi's continuing direction and control.
- Posted by Budd Campbell on March 31, 2006
 
Mary,

I don't know about you, but I have just about had enough. First it was impossible to find any information on the raids and now we're suposed to believe the reasons for the raid on the legislature were invented by the RCMP? This is too much.
 
Mike Geoghegan is essentially one of Basi's people.

When Basi was still taking up office space at the Rockpile Geoghegan was a bit of a Basi groupie, showing up for what ever project Basi was pushing.

The rumour around the legislature is that Geoghegan, who had returned to the NDP to run Gordon Wilson's leadership campaign, gave Basi the entire NDP membership list.

Astute readers may remember that the BC Libs disqualified hundreds of party members in 2000 because they appeared on a current NDP membership list.

The list was obtained from Basi who in turn received if from his guy Geoghegan.
 
"The more I learn about this case, the more I get the impression that what was once painted to be a gigantic criminal conspiracy is actually a lot less than that." Keith Baldrey


I wonder who benefits from the above "impartial" (ha! ha!) "analysis" (even funnier) by Baldrey?
 
no jury so it really doesn't matter what he has to say...
 
If you watcc Baldrey ever so often you see a guy who sees very little wrong with anything right of center. The stuff he writes is fluff, always has been. The court will be , eventually getting down to business. I fully expect to learn more from the Globe and Mail BC section than from Keith. These guys may very well be innocent, and as well all know are innocent unless proven other wise, but the delays make people believe there is a conspiricy, something I still don't believe. The courts are swamped and back logged. It was Gordon C. who shut down a bunch of the courts and caused the back log, not the three guys who are due to appear shortly. Of course their lawyers will be doing what they are paid to do, slow down things. But in my simple view of things, the court will do there thing. Expect, if they are found guilty to see an appeal. If innocent, well just what were all those cops doing down at the Legislature so long ago. The bills these guys are asmassin must be getting pretty big so they have money from somewhere. dl
 
DL ... if the three accused are found guilty ... there has to be some error or flaw in the original trial upon which to base an appeal, right?
 
All I can say is "WOW"
 
Something very weird is going on. First there was Steve Docheray's message which never arrived. Then the big jam-up during which many blogs couldn't function properly. Then today when all seemed well, the system absolutely refused (10 times) to accept the following bit which I wanted to add to the top item, Hearing date confirmed ... so here goes (again):

Great news: Robin will be there! He writes:

Dear Mary. I should have written sooner but I was most of the day at the Vancouver rally and march for Canadian troops out of Afghanistan. My friend trained in law at UBC is (as of now) going with me to the court Monday at 9:15 ... Anyhow, it looks like we'll be there, taking notes fast and furious. (All this because of the good work you do and have done.) Courage, Robin
*********************************************************

Yaayyyy!
 
Hi
Wally Oppel had a story in the T/C today, Sunday. seems the courts are running a bit slow and some judges might decide to throw out cases because of the delays. He never mentioned it was the government, in which he is the AG.
He mentioned a case of a woman here in Victoria charged with the murder of her husband and was granted bail. Murder, and yet a couple of years later she hasn't got into the court. Maybe it's time folks started dropping messages to Wally and his boss Gordo and ask why the courthouses were closed. On the schem of things maybe the Basi group is considered samll potatoes. Their lawyer will possibly be asking to have the case thrown out due to unreasonably delay If I was a lawyer I'd try that route. dl
 
People lose respect for the law if they see that it only works for certain folks, sorry, but that is a fact folks!
 
I forgot to point out that there are other time tested routes to justice!
 
Koot, old pal: you forgot that there are some very smart people commenting here, too.
 
I wasn't demeaning the intelligence of commenters here at all, in fact that is what my "Wow" comment was referring to. But I was, the last two brief comments that should have been one, commenting on the nature of justice, and how it's perception affects its relevance. Personally I think we've all been treated with a great lack of respect vis-a-vis justice in recent years and if current trends continue the decisions and or actions of the courts will sink into their own self created hole of irrelevance.

Eventually an overwhelming majority, or enough, of those who are not in the old boy's club will realize that their interests are irrelevant and what seems like disrespect for the courts or the law today will be but a quaint memory of back when people "respected the law." The more disenfranchised people become, the more they will out of necessity find other ways to affect their own destiny - not idealistic cant, just physics of social justice or lack of same. There is civil war going on in Iraq, and probably Afghanistan today, to mention only two places - do you think we are immune?
 
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