Thursday, November 02, 2006
Opposition critic chides Attorney General, says he's "surprised and disappointed'
For Immediate Release
November 2, 2006
Krog Chides Oppal for Public Comments on Legislature Case
VICTORIA–Leonard Krog, Opposition critic for the Attorney General, criticized Wally Oppal today for making public comments about potential evidence and witnesses in the high profile Virk-Basi case.
Oppal was quoted by several media outlets expressing concern about the way police may have obtained wiretap evidence.
“I was surprised and disappointed to hear Attorney General Oppal musing publicly about the actions of potential crown witnesses and evidence in this case,” said Krog. “Wally Oppal should be well aware that such comments can have a prejudicial effect.
“The Attorney General should leave this case to the courts and keep future comments to himself.”
Krog, the NDP MLA for Nanaimo and himself a lawyer, said there have been high profile cases in the past where prosecutions failed because of public comments made by politicians.
“It is essential to the rule of law that the integrity of the judicial process not be interfered with,” said Krog. “High profile prosecutions have failed in the past because politicians felt compelled to make comments in public that were later deemed prejudicial.”
Krog says he hopes the Attorney General will exercise more caution in relation to such matters in the future.
“Attorney General Oppal has served on the bench, so I don’t understand why he hasn’t shown more restraint,” said Krog. “After all, the Solicitor General, who is not a lawyer, was careful not to comment publicly.
“British Columbians have waited a long time for this trial to move forward, and we certainly don’t need the Attorney General putting it at risk now.”
Media Contact: Brendan Lindsay --- (250) 387 – 0200