Thursday, March 29, 2007
Opposition asks: why is government refusing to release documents?
In an attempt to get the judge to order the government to release documents that are essential to their defence, lawyers for Basi, Virk and Basi filed an application for disclosure in early March. Now Carole James and the NDP Opposition are demanding answers - and a public enquiry to get them.
The circumstances of the sale of BC Rail lie at the heart of the case, and in the Legislature Carole James asked why has the government failed -- for over a year -- to release the documents? When this case began, the premier personally pledged that the government would fully cooperate in the investigation. Now it seems that the government is withholding information. Why is the government refusing to cooperate?"
The reason could be that the defense lawyers are alleging that Basi was carrying out the political instructions of his superiors - with their knowledge and consent."These allegations suggest other officials like former Finance Minister Gary Collins may have been much more involved than anyone has admitted" said James.
"It is time to clear the air" said James. "The Campbell government must immediately release the documents. They must also commit to holding a public inquiry into the sale of BC Rail as soon as the criminal proceedings are over. British Columbians deserve to know the truth, and a public inquiry is the only way we will ever know what happened."
From The Democrat. March 2007.
[I think many of us have failed to distinguish between the duties of the Crown prosecutors and the duties of the government. I had thought that all documents were available to the Crown prosecutors and that, if the Crown failed to provide documents it was entirely their fault, nobody else's. This may, in fact, be true. But having now heard from the B.C. Opposition, it appears that there is another active participant in the trial of Basi, Virk, Basi -- the government -- and that they may be sitting on documents crucial to a fair trial for three former employees. -BC Mary]
There are many things at work behind the scenes here and I firmly beleive that they are being orchestrated to protect the Premier.