Saturday, November 11, 2006
Oct 30 was covered up. Now watch Nov 14
A concerned citizen left a comment today. It'll knock your socks off. He wrote:
When I described what had happened to the court notice re: Basi Basi and Virk morphing into John Does over the weekend my lawyer friend was very clear: This kind of thing doesn't happen by accident. It looks like a deliberate attempt to keep the press (and the public) from being aware of what was happening in Justice Bennett's courtroom - the only legitimate use of 'john doe' labelling is when there are reasons (under age children, physical danger or threat etc) why privacy is an important consideration for someone in the court. My friend agreed, particularly in view of the public notice you received on Friday, that none of those considerations would apply in this instance.
In a case like this the switch from BBV to John Doe etc over the weekend couldn't have been anything other than a cover up - and it's a cover up the press is up to its armpits in. Why wouldn't those 'vastly experienced' court reporters have at least noted it in passing?
Who knows Mary, without your blog, the only observers in the court on that Monday morning might have been Justice department staff?
The public has a right to be informed and, Bill Tieleman to the contrary, the press is letting us down.
A big bouquet to this concerned citizen who took the bull by the horns and got the legal opinion which confirms many suspicions. This commentor has insisted from Day One (Oct 30) that there was something fishy about the John Doe entries on the B.C. Supreme Court lists, but no Basi, Virk, or Basi (BVB) although BC Mary was assured by the Criminal Justice Registry that the BVB case would come before B.C. Supreme Court for pre-trial hearings on October 20 and October 30.
Please note, however, that BC Mary would never have known, either, if I hadn't personally e.mailed the Attorney-General's office, which replied ... and their information was published here. It was BC's only notification, apparently.
On October 30, knowing how difficult it is to confirm these details, I wanted to see them validated in the on-line Court Lists which appear day by day.
Well ... there was no mention of BVB on 30 October. But there was an odd-looking entry -- "John Doe" -- listed 8 consecutive times.
Only this blog put that information out to the people of British Columbia.
Only this blog told the public to be in Supreme Court on 30 October.
No other journalists even noted the anomaly.
And only Robin Mathews described the hostile courtroom atmosphere when he and two supporters showed up.
Let's keep these factors in mind, as we approach November 14, when Supreme Court Justice Bennett rules on whether everything is in order so that the long-awaited trial of Basi, Virk, Basi gets under way on 4 December 2006.
Special blessings upon Citizen Journalists who care about this country, who go the extra mile to serve and protect it.
- BC Mary
posted: 3 Hours Ago (Nov. 11) on The Tyee following Bill Tieleman's story on the Leg Raid:
Many thanks to Mr. Tieleman for answering my question re the 'consortium' that was bidding for the Roberts Bank Spurline.
He clarifed by stating:
"The answer is that the consortium was just OmniTRAX and Burlington Northern Santa Fe together. CN was another separate bidder, as was CP. Sorry for any confusion."
Now, as follow-up, I would sure like to know if there was actually true competition amongst those three groups (or at least two).
Why do I ask?
Well, if there was a quid pro quo being set-up wherein a dummy bid from OmniTRAX that gave the illusion of competitiveness to the larger CN deal was to be rewarded with with some sort of certainty wrt the outcome on the smaller deal*, well, then, that wouldn't that have made competition on the latter, say from CP, problematic.
Now, even on its own this scenario is worth considering if the Spur line process was, indeed, competitive. But what makes it even more compelling, I think, is the fact that it was the Spur line deal that was ultimately cancelled and that it was CP that ultimately made a fuss about the entire process being tainted.
*This 'hypothesis' is not mine. It was floated by Vaughn Palmer in his Nov 3rd column.
Anybody able to pass Palmer's Nov. 3 column along?
It may not 'just' be the defence who want this whole thing to go away. I'm sure you can understand where I'm coming from.
I certainly don't think the defence had anything to do with the John Does either.
I agree with the poster you profiled in your post. The mainstream media has let us down. Watching Keith Baldrey's sudden interest in this matter on Global TV suggest he is nothing short of a Basi, Basi, Virk apologist.
I can't believe this, right before our eyes we see the RCMP being put on trial for catching these rotten apples. Where is the media indignation about three government officials engaging in wholly unacceptable conduct?
The coverage is essentially a fraud. We've seen him take the government position before, but this time it is really too much.
This article ran in the Victoria Times-Colonist on October 22, 2006 regarding the defence disclosure application. It clear states for all to read that the hearing for Basi and Virk would be held on October 30 - see the third from the last paragraph.
Procedural issues plague corruption case
Lawyers for B.C. aids want to question cops
CanWest News Service
Sunday, October 22, 2006
VANCOUVER -- 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.
Basi and Bobby Virk, both former provincial government ministerial assistants, were charged in December 2004 with accepting a bribe, influence peddling, breach of trust and two counts of fraud over $5,000.
Michael Bolton says he and the other defence lawyers are asking that Cpl. Chun Ma, a member of the commercial crime section responsible for the disclosure of electronic materials, be available.
"We may seek to cross-examine him regarding certain aspects," Bolton told B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett.
Special prosecutor Bill Berardino said he would take the request "under advisement" but pointed out if there are any "substantive issues" to be raised, they should be identified in advance.
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."
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.
Aneal Basi, a former communications worker in the transportation ministry, also faces two counts of laundering money.
The charges relate to the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail.
Now that we've got this straight, I'd love to hear your explanation of the "John Doe" entries on the October 30 Court List.
There was no mention of Basi, Virk or Basi on Oct 30 or any other day of the 4 days of hearings. How do you read this?
Are we missing something here, too?
We're all in this alarming situation together (is how I see it) and we appreciate your help and input very much.
I'm afraid I'm with Mary on this one. The question is not re the notification in the press about October 30. It is with the evident attempt at obfuscation by the court and the complete silence of the press on that matter. It seems quite clear that the defence is looking for all the attention it can get from the media and other interested parties.
The prosecution and the court seems to be quite another matter. Why wouldn't that be worthy of a little attention? Vaughn Palmer does seem interested in what defence counsel have to say. Those little asides in the hallway led to quite an interesting column or two didn't they?
You'll have to pay attention a little more closely. I'd say that's a procedural issue too, wouldn't you?
And it is not just the courts that seem to have procedures.
The apparent willingness of the press to do any 'speculating' about this case - given recent history in this province - is just a little bit strange.
Not to drop a politcal note into this question, but, do you honestly think that if this were a socialist government that the media would not have been in full-court press for years now?
I can wait a couple more days. My Goid, there are lots of big court cases on the books. with wait times getting longer because of lack of staff, courthouses and so on