Thursday, February 01, 2007
John Reynolds goes a bit too doggone far ...
I try to be a gentle, wise citizen, a seeker of truth and a friend to all. But something snapped this morning when I read Bill Tieleman reporting on John Reynolds' holier-than-thou lecture to the Liberal Party of Canada. In his 24-Hours column, Bill wrote:
Senior Conservative John Reynolds slams federal Liberal Party over BC President Jamie Elmhirst staying in office after being subpoenaed in Basi-Virk
Senior Tory slams Grits over Elmhirst
By BILL TIELEMAN, 24 HOURS
31 January 2007
Senior federal Conservative John Reynolds is criticizing the federal Liberal Party for the "embarrassing" failure to remove its B.C. branch president after he was subpoenaed to testify in the breach of trust case against former provincial government aides David Basi and Bob Virk.
Reynolds, the former Member of Parliament for West-Vancouver Sunshine Coast, said Tuesday that lobbyist Jamie Elmhirst should not have continued as Liberal Party of Canada B.C. president after he was subpoenaed on Oct. 4, 2006.
24 hours disclosed Monday that Elmhirst was under subpoena for over three months before he quit his party position on January 15, 2007.
"It's embarrassing for their party. A person in that situation should step aside - there's no question about it," Reynolds told 24 hours. "You always have to do what's best for your party." [Talk about Greenhouse Gas Emissions ... that concentration of pure hypocrisy is a health threat to crops, wildlife, and unborn children. - BC Mary]
"If nothing else, you don't need the president of your party as a witness," said Reynolds, who co-chaired the national Conservative 2006 election campaign.
Google the name of John Reynolds + Rakesh Saxena. You get 64,100 of the most amazing hits ever: Rakesh Saxena and the Spiderweb of Crooks ... and Politicians! Or "The Politician and the Fugitive"! Over sixty-four thousand entries!!
I'm not defending BCLiberals. But for a former leader of the CCRAP Alliance Party, John Reynolds, to lecture anybody about what's the right thing to do ... well, that stretched credulity just a bit too far.
Google turned up things such as: "According to Mr. Saxena, another of his disastrous penny stock promotions, WaveTech Networks, also featured Mr. Rutledge and Toronto-based past securities violator Harvey Rubenstein. Last August, Stockwatch revealed that one of Canada's top federal opposition politicians, John Reynolds, a former Howe Street promoter himself, faced a $484,000 debit suit from Vancouver brokerage Global Securities stemming from an unpaid block of WaveTech shares, and the fugitive Mr. Saxena was trying to help Mr. Reynolds out of this debit pickle.
Vancouver Sun reporter David Baines subsequently detailed the case further in a front-page feature entitled, "The Politician and the Fugitive." While such a stigma might have hurt a lesser fellow, Mr. Reynolds went to become interim leader of the Canadian Alliance party, moving in to the residence of Canada's leader of the opposition."
And this, by Stockwatch Business Reporter:
Canada's resident stock personality, Rakesh Saxena, has begun yet another phase of his fight to remain in Canada -- or, more specifically, avoid Thailand. On Monday, Jan. 30, the amiable stock tout appeared before the British Columbia Court of Appeal to protest a November, 2003, order by then-justice minister Martin Cauchon that Mr. Saxena return to Thailand. If he does return, the 53-year-old fugitive banker will be tried on allegations that he contributed to the 1996 collapse of the Bangkok Bank of Commerce.
Mr. Saxena, formerly a shareholder of VSE-listed Asean Holdings Inc., was the bank's treasury adviser at the time of its collapse. On June 5, 1996, the Thai government accused Mr. Saxena, the bank's then-president and chairman Krirk-kiat Jalichandra, and Adnan Khashoggi, another VSE player, of defrauding the bank of a total of $2.2-billion (U.S.). Mr. Saxena specifically stands accused of using his position as an employee to fraudulently borrow 1.6 million baht (about $88-million) to help acquire three telecommunications companies.
The Thai government said that Mr. Saxena did not use the money for its intended purpose. Mr. Saxena's former employees say he used some of this money to repay personal debts, with some of the rest deposited in his Swiss bank accounts; all told, Mr. Saxena's companies only repaid 650 million baht.
By the time the bank collapsed, Mr. Saxena had left Thailand, eventually showing up in Whistler, B.C., where the RCMP, at the Thai government's behest, arrested him on July 7, 1996. The RCMP released Mr. Saxena on bail, but revoked the bail in January, 1998, after he allegedly threatened a witness and tried to get a fake passport.
Several months after his bail was revoked, Mr. Saxena managed to convince judge Wally Oppal (then a B.C. Supreme Court judge, now B.C.'s attorney-general) to allow him to remain under house arrest in a False Creek condominium. Mr. Saxena was allowed to remain under guard by security hired at his own expense. The RCMP seemed to be satisfied with a $10,000-per-week in-house camera security system tracking his moves.
After an extradition hearing that sputtered along for four years, Judge Frank Maczko found on Sept. 15, 2000, that Mr. Saxena could be convicted of fraud under Thai law. After this judgment, the decision to extradite fell into Mr. Cauchon's hands; Mr. Cauchon decided to surrender Mr. Saxena to Thailand on Nov. 18, 2003.
It's like a James Bond novel, the newspaper accounts of Rakesh Saxena goes back over the Oppal decision:
Aug 01, 1999
THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED Police officers bristled visibly in the heavily guarded Vancouver court when the controversial ruling was handed down. Thousands of kilometers away in Bangkok, their counterparts in the Royal Thai Police would express outrage and disbelief.
Justice Wally Oppal of the British Columbia Supreme Court had just allowed Thailand's most wanted man, Rakesh Saxena, to continue fighting extradition to Bangkok from the comfort of his luxury Vancouver condominium - watched by his own guards. Saxena's exuberant lawyer Russ Chamberlain turned to his India-born client and cautioned: "Don't smile too much. There will be no dancing ladies, but there will be mother's cooking."
Saxena, clad in a navy golf shirt, grinned in the prisoner's box surrounded on three sides by bullet-proof glass and scrutinized by sheriffs. He was adamant he would not voluntarily return to Thailand. "I'm afraid with good reason that I will be killed extra-judicially should I set foot in Thailand," he told the court.
The June 24 ruling, the first of its kind in Canada, overturned a February decision to revoke Saxena's bail because he was a flight risk. At the time, Saxena languished in the spartan segregation unit of the city's remand center. Months of incarceration had rendered the stocky, hard-drinking, gregarious braggart into a surly, sober, 1.6-meter lightweight. "Someone should try living like this," Saxena complained. He had only a cot and a small coffee table in his cell. "To turn on the lights you have to call for the guard who may or may not be there," he said. He wasn't given even a pencil, pen or pad.
Today Saxena lives in Suite 206-1600 Hornby Street, his spacious $500,000 condo in Yacht Harbour Pointe, overlooking expensive pleasure craft moored in False Creek. To keep him from wandering, his lawyer's firm has hired Intercon Security at $27,000 a month.
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