Monday, October 23, 2006
Some troubling thoughts ...
I can't quite come to grips with the CanWest story (below). And it is a CanWest story, without by-line; that's point #1. This sometimes happens when a seasoned journalist dislikes the editor's changes so much, he/she refuses to let his by-line appear. I'm not saying that's what happened. But it could have.
Here's another point of concern: the CanWest article refers to "the government's corruption case against [Basi, Virk, Basi]". Hello? This isn't "the government's corruption case". No way. No. A thousand times No, it is not.
The government isn't the judiciary. The government isn't even Special Prosecutor, Bill Berardino, I hope. Surely it's the people (Regina, the Crown, as symbol of The People) represented by Special Prosecutor Berardino, who stands in open court to call to account these three men for alleged wrongdoing involving, for cryin' out loud, "the government".
This could be a slip-of-the-pen by a youthful reporter. Maybe. Or it could be a reflection of the junta's determination to create some new propaganda, suggesting that it's "the government", not the people of British Columbia, which is wearing the white hat and sheriff's badge, seeking justice in this case. I think not. I think "the government" must stand back, allowing justice to take its course in a fair, impartial trial.
Let's be very clear about this: "the government" could be implicated in some of the things done under Dave Basi's alleged influence. "The government" should not in any way be trying to influence this trial. Or the public's understanding of the trial. They should be told, by The People, to stand aside. In this trial, The People are owed a fair answer; owed big-time.
About the headline "Procedural issues plague corruption case", I had no idea that procedural issues were a problem of any kind. Did you know this?
Then there's "for possible questioning" ... as in "A lawyer for David Basi is concerned about the integrity or wholeness of the disclosure process in the government's corruption case against his client and wants the RCMP to attend court for possible questioning".
Why "possible questioning"? Surely, after 3 years, Basi's lawyers know whether they have questions for Cpl. Chun Ma ... or not. Is this merely stalling? Well, I think it's stalling.
Consider: a big case like this with all kinds of documentary evidence would have given counsel lots of chance to exchange queries re the evidence. And lots of chance for Defence to pick up on the things they were worried about: deletions, omissions, relevant/irrelevant stuff and time to contact the Crown.
Then Crown may clear it up, may answer the questions or try to, may put off the questions, may ignore the questions - many things are never decided until they get before the judge. Then that's what goes into the pretrial motions - actions by the defence - usually - challenging the discovery evidence and documentary evidence that the Crown has given them.
However ... "vetting and editing" is indeed peculiar. As in "Bolton told the court that he and the other defence lawyers, also intend to address the question of vetting or editing of material disclosed for the case." This almost sounds like tampering with the evidence ... ?? Surely not. Surely not something like vetting or editing to give preferential treatment for cabinet ministers or a former prime minister. Here's obviously where "the government" should not imagine it's running this trial.
I find "a week of pre-trial motions" quite amazing -- as in: The judge told Berardino "it may be useful" to have the officer present during "a week of pre-trial motions starting Oct. 30", but that "doesn't mean there'll be a free-for-all cross-examination". So it's not a Discovery. It's more like what usually happens in Judge's chambers? Just procedural stuff? Why in court session ... for a whole week? My guess: more stalling.
Remember Judge Patrick Dohm postponing matters because he was taking weeks and months to shuffle through the original 32 cartons of seized material, to ensure that Cabinet confidentiality wasn't breached. So the "vetting and editing" has already been done, right?
Something more should be said, at this time, by the most important witnesses in this case: the British Columbia public. People, by making their voices heard, have an important part to play in bringing The Legislature Raids to justice. Now is the time to speak up.
Those mentioned in this news story aren't supermen. They can benefit from public input ... if only they hear it.
It has been almost four years since the infamous raid on the BC legislature. In that time one of the suspects, Bob Virk has become the father of two children and yet neither he nor David Basi appear any closer to getting their day in court.
On April 16, 2005 Sean Holman revealed in a Vancouver Sun article that RCMP Corporal Andrew Cowan – who led the RCMP’s investigation against Basi – previously bought a house off of David Basi and is rumoured to have had other personal business dealings with Basi.
Now in an October 22nd television broadcast legislative reporter Keith Baldrey has revealed that star Crown witness Eric Bornman, who's the source of most of the allegations was registered in a law class at UBC lectured by the current special prosecutor, Bill Baradino, right in the middle of the investigation, about six months after the raid.
Neither Cowan nor Baradino have yet to resign. It should make for a very interesting trial.
One of the Anons found it in the paper edition. Not on the front page, obviously. If you check the comments, the page number is given.