Saturday, January 27, 2007


"I want to investigate things for myself ..."


We are fortunate to have been offered this rare view by Bhupinder Mattu of a Basi, Virk, Basi pre-trial hearing in BC Supreme Court. What I found particularly significant is this young UBC student's assessment of the Crown Prosecutor. - BC Mary.

This case could adversely affect the Liberal agenda of privatization if it is heard properly and reported properly. What, and how many, dirty backroom dealings went on in the process of selling BC Rail? This trial could shine light on them and force closer scrutiny of future government deals.

For a government that could be/is in the midst of trying to privatize all, or parts of, BC Rail, BC Gas, BC Hydro and BC Ferries this would be very unwelcome attention. This trial could put that process at risk.

At the end of the day all government actions go through Campbell and if all the misdeeds associated with this deal come to light that will reflect poorly on him. Not to give anyone misconceptions of the man, he does have some redeeming qualities. He let Gary Collins and Christy Clark get out of the way of the oncoming train (no pun intended) before it got too late.

I wanted to investigate things regarding this trial for myself and went to a court hearing on October 30 with a couple of friends. I was only able to attend the first day of the hearing regarding disclosure of evidence but came away feeling certain that this case was being influenced by outside sources.

The day I was there consisted of over five hours of the defense (McCullough mainly) outlining every one of the thousands of documents he felt he was not given adequate time to analyze in order to prepare for this case. This continued for the full week. It felt like the court was staging this in order to be able to declare a mistrial later. And I have to thank my friend, Jean-Francois, who alerted me to observe the body language of the Crown Prosecutor.

No doubt the documents requested were important for a fair trial but the irony is that outlining the documents in the detail they were described in took away even more time from the case. Here the justice should have cut short this circus and just granted the defense access to the project room and the other documents it needed in order to prepare.

While all this was going on, special prosecutor, Berardino, looked on like a scolded dog whimpering a weak response whenever he could muster the courage to do so, which was not often. It was not so much what Berardino said in response to the defense; it was the body language he used that conveyed a clearer message. It looked like Berardino was already defeated and the hearing was a mere formality on the way to the inevitable mistrial, or whatever it is the Liberals have planned, that this case is destined for.

The hearing I attended showed the cohesion between two cogs in the Campbell machine: the media and the courts, united in their common goal to further the Liberal agenda.

During breaks at the hearing I attended, Vaughn Palmer and the defense council could be seen fraternizing outside the courtroom while the defense were loathe to give anyone else a second of their time. McCullough was quick to brush off a friend's inquiries regarding the hearing, saying he was not supposed to talk to him, but was more liberal with his time when it came to Palmer. Isn't it funny that our media members here are named so fittingly (wink)? McCullough probably wrote half of Vaughn's article right there.

I hope this trial is conducted in the impartial manner it is supposed to be, but something tells me it will not be. I mean how often does the key witness send flowers to the defendant he is set up to witness against in the middle of an investigation?

Many thanks, Bhupinder. Next hearing is 26 February ... OK?



I find it hard to believe a judge would throw away her/his career to infuence this case.It will be fairly high profile when it actually gets started. Of course if the judge messed up, there is always the Appeal Court level of three judges and the final option, if they accept it, the Supreme Court of Canada.

Let's face it, Palmer is well known and it's his job to ask questions and write articles. I doubt he would discredit himself either. So we all sit and wait. As for delays, a woman was charged with murder here in Victoria three years ago and now has a trial date this spring. With less courts, and judges delays are inevitable. Point our fingers at the provicial government who reduced the court times. Wally Oppel might be the first guy to talk to about the reductions. I want to see this case go ahead as much as anyone
Anonymous, you have X-ray vision if you can look at this small report and see where a judge is either influencing this case and/or throwing away his/her career.

And how do you compartmentalize the scene so that it's OK for Palmer to fraternize with the Crown and Defense, whereas others can't get the time of day from those lawyers even when the situation is set up so that the public must ask a lawyer for certain document copies?

Personally, I think that the journalists ought to maintain a certain distance, if only to safeguard their own impartiality. Otherwise, next thing you know, they'll be hopping the rail and sitting on the justice's desk.

So, as you say, we all sit and wait. Just don't expect us to sit with bags over our heads, never asking questions, never analysing what we see, just waiting like dummies for some other guy to explain to us HIS/HER particular view of which way is UP.

Meantime, why don't YOU call the AG's office and talk to them about getting those old court houses re-opened?
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