Monday, December 18, 2006
Vancouver Supreme Court Criminal List. Charges 9 and 10. And in December 2004, after charges laid, Attorney General Geoff Plant telephones the media.
Vancouver Law Courts
Public Access Supreme Court Criminal List
Date: 18 December 2006
Case No. 23299 - 1
HMTQ v. BASI, Aneal
011 - accepting bribe as government official
012 - breach of trust by public officer
HMTQ v. BASI, Udhe S.
001 - accepting bribe as government official
003 - accepting bribe from person dealing with government
005 - offering to influence government official
007 - breach of trust by public officer
009 - fraud over $5,000.
010 - fraud over $5,000.
HMTQ v. VIRK, Bobby S.
002 - accepting bribe as government official
004 - accepting bribe from person dealing with government
006 - offering to influence government official
008 - breach of trust by public officer
009 - fraud over $5,000.
010 - fraud over $5,000.
Followed by 6 pages of disclosure items, very difficult to know what it's about. Except for one:
002 - Special Prosecutor to provide call logs for Authorizations P32 and P53 to defence counsel on appropriate undertakings.
Two counts against two of the men in more detail:
Udhe Singh (Dave) BASIS and Bobby Singh VIRK, between the 1st day of April, 2002 and the 28th day of December, 2003, at or near Victoria, or elsewhere in the Province of British Columbia, did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defraud Canadian National Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway, CIBC World Markets Inc., and the Government of British Columbia, of an amount exceeding $5,000.00, by recklessly putting at risk the bidding process for the Freight Division of BC Rail in disclosing to interested third parties confidential government documents and confidential government information including Cabinet confidences, contrary to Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
Udhe Singh (Dave) BASIS and Bobby Singh VIRK, between the 1st day of January, 2003 and the 28th day orf December, 2003, at or near Victoria, or elsewhere in the Province of British Columbia, did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defraud(1)Macquarie North America Ltd. and OmniTRAX Inc.,(2)a consortium which included Canadian National Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway and the Vancouver Port Authority,(3)TD Securities Inc., and(4)the Government of British Columbia, of an amount exceeding $5,000.00, by recklessly putting at risk the bidding process for the Port Subdivision of BC Rail in disclosing to interested third parties confidential government documents and confidential government information including Cabinet confidences, contrary to Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
From the archives of Public Eye OnLine:
ATTORNEY GENERAL SENT INTO LION'S DEN, ESCAPES UNSCATHED
Following the announcement charges would be laid against former ministerial assistants David Basi and Bob Virk, as well as public affairs officer Aneal Basi, Attorney General Geoff Plant phoned the press gallery to give government's take on the day's events. During that call, Attorney General Plant acknowledged the charges are not limited to the Roberts Bank deal, but rather the whole British Columbia Rail privatization initiative. He refused to speculate on whether Finance Minister Gary Collins would have been forced to resign because of those charges had he not already left government last week. The following is a rush transcript of the scrum.
Media: Do you have a statement or do you want us to shout questions?
Attorney General Plant: I do not have a statement.
Media: What is the government's response to this situation in terms of public's confidence in the B.C. Rail deal.
Attorney General Plant: My responsibility, first and foremost, is as Attorney General to say this is a process that has clearly taken a next, very serious step forward. The decision to lay charges is not a decision that would be made lightly. In this case, its been made by a special prosecutor who is independent of government. There is a very carefully structured process to make sure that decision like this are free from political influence. So I don't know a whole lot really about what's happened today other than the information that I received a copy of an hour or so ago. It's important to point out that the laying of charges doesn't represent anything like a finding of guilt. There will now be a court process. And, at the end of the day, the question of whether or not these individuals have done anything wrong will be decided by a court. And that's how it should be. As a member of government, I'm disappointed that this has taken the next step. But I'm not, frankly, completely surprised given that the police took this all very seriously a year ago when they went to get a warrant to seize documents at the legislature. And the question of how this relates to various aspects of B.C. Rail and the CN Rail partnership is a question that is more appropriately directed to Kevin Falcon.
Media: Will Kevin Falcon be made available today?
Attorney General Plant: I'm not responsible for Kevin's whereabouts. But I'm pretty sure he's around somewhere. I chatted to him. We both obviously have been following the news. And I wanted him to know what the information said in summary.
Media: Geoff, when did government become aware that charges were going to be laid?
Attorney General Plant: I knew a day or so ago that there was expectation that Mr. Berardino would do what he said he would do a few months ago, which was to make a decision before the end of the year.
Media: You've read the information. Were you surprised? I think the public had been led to believe that anything that happened related to the Roberts Bank line. Were you surprised, as a member of government, when you read the information that it was much more extensive?
Attorney General Plant: Well what I can say is to confirm the second part of your statement Paul (Willcocks). Which is to say, on the face of it, the charges here are not limited to the port subdivision contract. And I don't know anything about these charges beyond what's on the face of the information. But they clearly appear to be more general - although they appear to only relate to OmniTRAX.
Media: Nor do they seem confined to just B.C. Rail. Because my reading of the information (seems to indicate the charges are) related to matters of government business including OmniTRAX. That would suggest that this is not exclusively limited to B.C. Rail.
Attorney General Plant: The words lend themselves to that interpretation. But the words are also fairly standard language for an information laying a criminal charge. I don't know one way or another as to whether they're intended to go more broadly than that.
Media: Can you just fill us in on Aneal Basi. Does he still work for government? When did he stop working for the government?
Attorney General Plant: I'm pretty sure Aneal Basi worked for the government as of the first thing this morning. Martyn Brown, as the chief of staff, was responsible for making some employment-related decisions a year ago when the search warranted was executed on the legislature. I know that he is thinking about what the significance of today's developments are for the employment status of Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi. But, as of an hour or so ago, when I last spoke to Martyn, he had not as yet made a decision so far as I know.
Media: We had the resignation last week of a colleague of yours, Gary Collins, and the assumption was that (his resignation) was not connected to the legislative raids or charges. Given what's happened today, would it be fair to say that this is a situation today where Gary Collins would have had to resign given the very serious charges that have been laid against his former aide?
Attorney General Plant: I can't, at this point, draw those conclusions. I am just reading these allegations this afternoon for the first time. They are serious. They clearly relate to the performance of duties of office - at least by Dave Basi and Mr. Virk. Beyond that, I can't really go much further in speculating about what the implications might have been for people who are no longer members of cabinet.
Media: To the best of your knowledge Geoff, when it comes to information about the charges, who else was aware of what was going to happen and when were they aware?
Attorney General Plant: To the best of my knowledge, the solicitor general was aware earlier today because he called me.
Medi: But no one else?
Attorney General Plant: I don't know if anyone else knew that charges would be laid. I know that there were some folks in the premier's office who were aware of this sort of ticking clock on the fact that the special prosecutor had said he was going to make a decision by the end of the year. But that's the extent of what I know.
Sincere thanks to BILL TIELEMAN who kindly found out for us, that there was only a short session in Supreme Court today (18 Dec.) with Justice Bennett. The disclosure work in the RCMP Project Room is continuing. Next pre-trial hearing for Basi, Virk, Basi will be 15 January 2007.
Meantime, on 28 December 2006, the third anniversary of the Legislature Raids, Bill plans to talk about that issue when he's guest hosting CKNW's Nightline BC. Or check out his blog: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/
Special thanks also to SEAN HOLMAN at Public Eye OnLine for permission to post his report of Geoff Plant's telephone call made to the media on the day charges were laid against Basi, Virk, and Basi. Public Eye OnLine is a unique news service about B.C. political events, people, trends, quotes, and forecasts, updated daily.