Tuesday, January 16, 2007

 

Basi, Virk, Basi trial date: 2 April 2007

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Defence to Challenge Wiretap Evidence, Search Warrants Used In BC Legislature and Other Raids, reports Bill Tieleman.

At a BC Supreme Court hearing this morning [15 January 2007] Justice Elizabeth Bennett set a date of April 2 for trial of David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi - on a variety of charges, including breach of trust in connection with the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail.

And lawyers for the defence indicated that they will challenge the wiretap evidence and the search warrants executed over three years ago on December 28, 2003 on the BC Legislature and other private and commercial premises through a Charter of Rights challenge to be heard on March 5.

Defence lawyers will also file another disclosure application on February 26, seeking more information from the Crown.

In a short 20-minute session marked by cooperation between defence and prosecution lawyers, Justice Bennett set March 7 at 9 a.m. for an update on progress on disclosure of evidence in the RCMP Project Room, as granted in a previous hearing.

The examination of Project Room information should be completed in a couple of days, Justice Bennett was told.

Bill Tieleman could not attend the 15 January hearing but says, "I am indebted to a reporter who was there for this update information. CKNW Radio AM 980 ran several stories today on the hearing."
For further updates, go to: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/


From another source, which was able to find the CKNW story:

The search warrant that allowed police to raid the Legislature more than three years ago will be part of a constitutional challenge when the highly-publicized case comes to court in April. Three former government aides face corruption charges as a result of the raids. Defence lawyer Michael Bolton says he will challenge the validity of the search warrant and the authorization to conduct telephone wiretaps when the case starts on April 2nd.

The comments by Bolton that followed said that they would challenge the constitutional validity of two things:

1) The wiretapping (and resulting evidence)
2) The warrants for the raid itself (and resulting evidence)

"So it looks like the perfect bait and switch.  The defence will be arguing constitutional law, most likely to the complete exclusion of any discussion about the actual facts of the case," says our secret source.

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The Legislature Raids web-site was struck by lightning (or something) about an hour ago, wiping out this posting in its original form plus all the comments, some of which were excellent and I hope the posters will replace them. Now, back to work:

It's a rare and wonderful day when all three leading CanWest newspapers report on the B.C. Rail Trial. Here are excerpts, plus a final one from New York:

Vancouver Sun, 16 January 2007
Trio who figured in legislature raid to stand trial
Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun

Three former B.C. government officials will stand trial April 2, more than three years after allegations of influence-peddling, money laundering and breach of trust resulted in a police raid on the B.C. legislature.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett set the date Monday after reaching an agreement with the defence team that it would not seek any further adjournments in a trial that has been delayed by the defence needing more time to study the tens of thousands of documents produced by the Crown as evidence.

Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who were ministerial assistants to the Liberal government, are charged with a variety of offences relating to the $1-billion sale of BC Rail to Canadian National Railways.
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The Province, Vancouver, 16 January 2007
New pothole on road to Basi-Virk trial irks judge
By Keith Fraser,

The judge hearing the much-delayed corruption case arising from the December 2003 police raid on the B.C. legislature became exasperated yesterday at another adjournment request.

"I'm not sure why you need so much time," said B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett after special prosecutor Bill Berardino requested yet another delay.

Berardino explained that he and the defence lawyers for the accused -- David Basi, Aneal Basi and Robert Virk -- had almost finished reviewing a massive amount of documents.

He suggested several dates as deadlines for defence applications before a new trial date of April 2.

"If these dates are set, I'm not going to hear we need another adjournment in the middle of March," commented the judge, before agreeing to the latest adjournment.

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Victoria Times Colonist - 16 January 2007
Trial date set in legislature raid case

VANCOUVER-- Three former B.C. government officials will stand trial April 2 -- more than three years after allegations of influence peddling, money laundering and breach of trust resulted in a police raid on the B.C. legislature.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett set the date yesterday after reaching an agreement with the trio's defence team that they would not seek any further adjournments.

The start of the trial has been repeatedly delayed by the defence, which needed more time to study the tens of thousands of documents produced by the Crown as evidence.

Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who were ministerial assistants to the Liberal government, are charged with a variety of offences relating to the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail to the Canadian National Railways.

Basi's cousin Aneal Basi, a former public affairs officer with the government, is charged with two counts of money laundering.

The defence team told Bennett they'll challenge the wiretap authorizations that resulted in the police raids on the legislature and other premises and the seizing of massive amounts of documents.
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Monday's Canadian Briefs
www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny/canadianbriefs0115jan
January 15, 2007
British Columbia legislature raid trial set for April; constitutional challenges expected

VICTORIA (AP) _ A search warrant that allowed police to conduct a raid on the British Columbia legislature more than three years ago will form part of a constitutional challenge when the highly publicized influence peddling case comes to court in April, a defense lawyer says.

The trial of three former British Columbia Liberal insiders was set for April 2 after a brief hearing Monday in Vancouver.

Defense lawyer Michael Bolton said he will include two constitutional challenges as part of his defense of David Basi, one of three former British Columbia Liberal officials charged after the unprecedented raid on the legislature in December 2003.

Two former senior cabinet assistants, Robert Virk and David Basi face several charges, including accepting a bribe, influence peddling, breach of trust and fraud. Aneal Basi faces two charges of money laundering.

Basi was a ministerial assistant for former finance minister Gary Collins. Virk was an aide to former transportation minister Judith Reid. Aneal Basi was a public affairs officer in the Transport Ministry.

The three men are all related.

Bolton said he will make constitutional arguments to challenge the legislature raid search warrant and court authorizations permitting certain wiretaps.

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Can you spot the recklessly different terminology the U.S. media uses? It's the "L" word with which they describe the accused officials. Very unusual. - BC Mary.
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Comments:
As mentioned, the Basi, Virk, Basi trial date: 2 April 2007 posting was wiped out at about 11:00 AM PST. No, it wasn't Erik Bornmann or Gary Mason. It was something to do with the Visitor Counter thingy I was installing ... but it refused to install ... and now it's squatting behind the scenes here at The Legislature Raids, refusing be deleted or to allow anything to pass easily until it gets properly taken care of. Sigh.

I think I re-built the posting. But I'm very sad to have lost so many excellent comments. Sorry, Anon, Anonymouse, Michael, Mark, and the grouchy guy. Any chance you can re-post?
 
Regarding the "L" word in the American coverage, I assume you mean referring to the charged "relatives" as Liberals. That is true, it just that we don't see Liberals (federal) and BC Liberals as the same thing. Unfortunately though when you get behind the scenes into the sewer with Marrisen, Christy Clark and the Basis and Virk, they are the same thing on certain levels. Unfortunately that stains Stephane Dion as discussed in the posting above by Robin.

Americans don't really understand Canadian political parties, they are used to being Dem or Rethug all the way from city council, thru the statehouse to DC. Here we become accustomed to rogue parties using whatever name takes their fancy or can confuse the voters the most. Conservatives in Alberta provincially aren't much like a Conservative (of the old true PC variety) from Atlantic Canada and the BC Liberals are just a convenient name for a criminal enterprise composed of the remains of Social Credit, the old provicial Conservatives and used to be Reform party members. Even Social Credit was a stolen name used by W.A.C. to give his coalition of the non-CCF socialist hordes a name. His party had nothing in common with Social Credit that existed in England and for awhile in Alberta.
 
Koot:

Where the term, with the capital "L", caused me to topple off my chair, was "Liberal officials".

It's like the time a mention of the BCRail story was reported in a CanWest Ontario newspaper with a headline saying "government corruption" and when the exact same story showed up in a CanWest B.C. newspaper, its headline was sanitized simply to say "corruption".

The Newsday story actually said the forbidden word twice: Liberal insiders, too. Very bold. Very unusual. Makes ya wonder what else they omit.

And you heard about the big New York investment banker backing CanWest's takeover of Atlantis Alliance? And then looking around the world for more choice morsels to swallow up? Man, is our mainstream media in trouble now.

So I'm looking forward to your next postings on your "House of Infamy" blogspot. Once you get over that ridiculous shyness of yours. Sheesh.
 
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