Friday, October 27, 2006
Hearing confirmed: Monday 30 October.
From: BC Mary [email@example.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?
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.
Criminal Justice Branch
He raises many points that seem to be missing from this blog - or are purposefully neglected. It can be found at
The legislature raid: What now?
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
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
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.
"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!"
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!!
... 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
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.
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.
I wonder who benefits from the above "impartial" (ha! ha!) "analysis" (even funnier) by Baldrey?
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
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
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?